At Life.Church we often say, “We will lead the way with irrational generosity.” We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. However, this statement is something we had to learn and something we’re still learning.
I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.
Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
In 2006, the church was growing so rapidly we could hardly keep up with expenses. We also had more churches wanting to buy our resources. Our leadership made a decision to make all of our resources available for any church or ministry to use—for free. Videos, sermons, LifeGroup materials, kids’ curriculum, and now apps, building plans, and more. All free. We’re honored to know more than 130,000 churches downloaded free resources last year. Yet, the church that’s benefitted the most from all these free resources is a church called Life.Church.
Our church’s choice was not much different from a tithe. Tithe comes from a Hebrew word meaning “tenth.” Throughout the Bible, we’re reminded to return this tenth of our income back to God. Think of borrowing a car from a friend and then giving it back to Him. It’s not really a gift back to Him. You’ve just returned it. God provides for us, and we return a tenth back to Him. God provides for Life.Church, and we return what we create back to His global Church.
In what the Apostle Paul thought would be his last words to Ephesian church leaders, he chose to remind them to work hard so they could help those in need. Then he reaffirmed his words by quoting Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” It may seem like an irrational way to live, but it’s the only rational response to the extravagant gift of Christ.
Try this: If you’re tithing, think about giving an extra gift to God’s work in the world. If you’re not tithing, try a trial period and watch to see God’s faithfulness.