Frequently Asked Questions about Giving
Q: Is tithing really biblical?
During the course of the year a faithful Israelite was expected to give several tithes (a tithe literally means 10%). However, nowhere in the New Testament are we given a specific percentage we ought to give. So is the standard in the New Testament actually less? No, it's greater. Having been sanctified forever by the sacrifice of Jesus, believers are to live with the awareness that all we have belongs to God. To ask, "How much must I give?" misses the point. We ought to ask, "How much can I give? How can I give generously?" With the Old Testament informing our thinking on the matter of sacrificial giving, one should conclude that 10% is a good starting point with the goal of growing in generosity.
Q: How should I give?
You should give first as an act of worship to the local church's general fund. Then, as an offering above and beyond your regular act of worship, you are encouraged to give to ministries like Benevolence and Kingdom Connection.
Q: How can I give to God when I can barely pay for gas?
That's a great question! In a declining economy it is difficult to manage a budget, and it takes wisdom, sacrifice, and intentionality to determine what is right for you and your family. How can you can honor God with the best of your income? It may seem simplistic, but ask God. Pray regularly for your needs, for wisdom to use your money wisely, and for a kingdom perspective over the worldly pressures of the culture.
Q: What does my offering pay for?
Technically we do not give to the church to meet budget needs. First and foremost we give to God as an act of worship. Then, as a distant second, the funds are used to provide for the needs of the local church—pastors, missionaries, support for various ministries, building and supplies.
Q: Are offerings given to the church tax deductible?
Yes, all offerings given to the church are tax deductible as long as any goods or services are not received in exchange for your money (i.e., a registration for a women's conference is not tax deductible).
Q: How do I know my donations are being used properly?
When you give to Southern Gables Church, every dime is accounted for. All offerings are used to support ministry purposes—either here at Southern Gables or through ministries/missionaries we support. In addition, an independent accounting firm reviews our finances on a regular basis.