Where to Begin Giving
So you are ready to start giving but don’t know exactly where to start.
First, I would say don’t get too wrapped up in giving to exactly the right place, the most important thing is to find a place where you are excited to give and begin there. God will work on you over time to help develop a more detailed thought process for giving, but I believe that if you are just beginning to give the most important thing is to find a place where God has given you a passion and give there. If you don’t have a place, start at #1 below (we should, after all, be supporting our local churches).
With that being said, once you begin developing some giving habits, it becomes time to look at the Bible and inquire where it tells us to give. I believe there are some places where every Christian should be giving and there are several places where every Christian should aspire to give. Let’s have a look.
#1 The Church
2 Corinthians 9:12 says, “For the ministry of this service [giving] is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”
Acts 2:44-45 says, “44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”
These verses and many others point to the fact that Christians should be supporting the mission of the local church and should be supporting those who have dedicated their lives to the service of the church. Additionally, if we look at the Old Testament, it is clear that God has commanded His people to support the church as a first priority in their giving. Since we know that our hearts are tied to where we put our money, it should be vital for every Christian to put money into their local church to tie their hearts deeper there and to support the work of the local saints.
#2 The Great Commission
Acts 1:8 talks about taking the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. Not only are we to take the gospel to all parts of the earth, but we are also taught to baptize people and teach them to obey the commands of God (Matthew 28:18-20). These passages tell us that we all need to be involved in both evangelism and discipleship, both locally and globally. While this work is a part of the church’s role, it is also the role of each person in the church. Therefore, we can participate in these tasks of evangelism and discipleship by giving toward the accomplishment of the great commission and by participating in its accomplishment right where we are.
#3 The Ignored People of Societies
James 1:27 tells us that, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
1 John 3:17 says, “But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
When people around us are in need (poor, widows, orphans, prisoners, stranger, etc.), we are commanded to help them. If we have excess goods, we should consider that God has given them to us to help out people with less. It is really important for all of our spiritual development that we are giving to people who are easy to ignore because of their lack of voice or status. These are people who God cares deeply about and regularly rebukes people for ignoring. We do not want to be guilty of ignoring these people in our lives, so we should seek to add giving to people who are in these categories in our communities and around the world, if possible.
There are other worthy places to give, but these three are the most talked about places to give in the Bible. Below is a giving matrix covering these three giving areas locally, regionally, and globally which you can use to think and pray through as you mature in your giving journey. You probably won’t start with every quadrant filled, but be mindful of opportunities God puts in front of you to fill these needs as they arise.
I am excited for you as you start to give and dream about where to give. Don’t get overwhelmed, just start giving, and then pray that God enlarges your vision and gives you more opportunities to give. Enjoy the ride and don’t get too caught up in being perfect!!