Q Zone: Today’s Letter is ‘G’

giftSunday’s letter was no doubt ‘G.’ No, we weren’t filming an episode for Sesame Street, but we no doubt discussed giving, gifts, even Agabus. See what I mean? The “G’s” were everywhere! So here is some insight to two remaining questions we weren’t able to address “live” in the service.

1. Can you give us Scripture references for the list of spiritual gifts of distributed?

I’ll do better than that — I’ll give you the links to the references and definitions, as well as many other materials and audio resources available on this topic through our class “Wired.”  http://www.firstfamilyministries.com/wired/ Dig in and enjoy!

2. In the “system,” should all financial gifts be entrusted to church leadership for distribution?

First, for those who haven’t heard the message, “system” is the word I selected to describe the way in which the Antioch disciples entrusted their gift first to Barnabas and Saul and then to the elders in the Jerusalem church. In Antioch, as well as in Jerusalem, the givers trusted the church leaders to distribute the resources wisely and gave it under that expectation. This is what is meant by “system.” Now on to the question.

If by “all” you mean anything you give in any manner to anyone, than I’d say no. Other passages (such as Galatians 6 and 1 John 3) encourage giving to an individual’s need(s) as a sacrificial, responsive brother or sister in Christ in addition to the monetary ways you support the church family corporately. But I would say that any gift given to the Lord’s work through the church should be given without a “strings attached” mentality. This is why I am not a huge fan of “designated” giving. While I don’t think it is a sin, it does seem to cut against the grain of Acts 11, as well as examples in Acts 2 and 4.

On the heels of that, it is incumbent on the leaders to use the resources given for the purposes expressed. This is what was done in Acts 11 — the disciples gave to help their Judaean brothers affected by the famine, and those who received these resources were free — and yet accountable — to distribute the funds as they saw fit as long as they went for the intended purpose. Likewise, when we follow this pattern within our churches, (think “budgets”), then there is freedom with accountability, a good formula for integrity.

For a more thorough look at biblical giving, check out First Family’s position paper on this topic – http://www.firstfamilyministries.com/what-does-first-family-believe-about-giving/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *