It is time that many at 5pm Church fell a little out of love with money! I have heard it said that the least believed verse in the Bible is this:
‘You can not serve both God and Money’ (Matt 6:24; Luke 16:13)
Least believed, because it is a verse that is either ignored, or a verse that most think is not something they should pay attention too, because they happen to be the exception – they are the one who can, love both God and Money!!
Certainly at 5pm Church it appears we have many who should pay attention!!
Friends the sobering news we heard on Sunday is this:
94% of the income we receive comes from electronic giving.
Although I don’t know who or how much each person gives – I do know how many at 5pm Church do give.
At 5pm Church we:
- have 327 members – who represent 218 households
- 75 of those households give electronically – that is 34.4% of us are giving something. Or put another way 65.6% of us are not giving anything electronically.
That is a financial issue, but in fact it is a spiritual issue and we need to do something about.
5pm Church has now grown to be the largest gathering by household at Trinity City (Praise God). Yet as a gathering, we have the least number of households giving financially. We should be ashamed and rebuked.
I have been at 5pm for two and a half years and during that time I have asked, announced and written about the financial status of our gathering. We have given reports and updates as requested. Many have responded for which I am so very thankful. What I hear is that we are asking for too much – that there is a giving fatigue.
Well, if you are a household who is giving anything, then you have a point. You have been carrying the rest of us. Now is the time for the rest of us to do something.
The apostle Paul encourages his younger brother in faith Timothy to be a man who is not a lover of money (1 Tim 3:3; 3:8, 6:10, 2 Tim 3:2). Hebrews tells the Christians to live lives free from the love of money (Heb 13:5). The Apostle Peter says not to be ‘greedy for money’ (1 Peter 5:2). Paul tells the Corinthian church to each week to ‘set aside a sum of money’ to be collected for ministry (1 Cor 16:1-2) and Jesus teaches that Money and Faith don’t mix when money calls the shots (Matt 6:24; Luke 16:13) because money now, if not spent on eternity, is only a storehouse that steals the heart. Should I go on….there is plenty more in the Bible where that comes from!
They say that the last thing to be converted in a person is their wallet! If that is so, let’s praise God because at 5pm Church it appears we have many new Christians (like almost 2/3rds). And as part of your spiritual growth, now is the time to move off the infant milk and to start on the solid food that is part of being a mature Christian (Heb 5:13-14). It is time to grow up in way we think and give some of the money we gain for the sake of the gospel. It is time for many to start giving (small or large – but something).
Christians need to answer the call and put our money where our faith rests. That is not in our bank accounts, on our mortgages, on our holidays as a first priority (as good as those things are). It is to ensure that those things sit after the gospel – and that we give to the gospel preferential treatment allowing the other important worldly responsibility to follow.
Friends, it is time to fall out of love with money.
Thank you to the many who have previously answered this call. And thank you to all who serve around 5pm and Trinity and further afield for the sake of the gospel. So many give (financially and not) in a myriad of important and healthy ways to serve the gospel.
Thank you for the two households who did answer the call on Sunday – someone increased what they already gave and someone started giving (as at the time of writing this piece).
For the other 142 households at 5pm Church who are not financially serving the ministry that is your core gathering each week – it is time to make some adjustments. Please take the time to do that now. Thank you in advance.
Here are the details to set up your recurring electronic transfer:
Account Name: Friends of Trinity Trust – City
Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
BSB: 065 000 Account Number: 11741120
Please include the reference text: City 5pm
It may not feel like it, but this burden is a privilege. Please do this not just for the sake of those who need to hear the gospel, but for your own sake.