Giving Guidelines for the Local Church

Every local church is accountable to God for how it uses the offerings entrusted to its care. The following are some guidelines for the local church based on 1 Cor 16:1-4:

1)  Keep a Kingdom focus.  The Corinthians weren't just focused on their own church, they were focused on the Kingdom. Specifically, they were concerned with the welfare of fellow believers in Jerusalem - 800 miles away.  It's a sure red flag when a church spends all its money on itself.

2)  Cooperate with other churches.  The Corinthians' offerings were combined with offerings from churches in Galatia and  elsewhere.  Does your church seek to partner with other like-minded churches for the advancement of the Gospel?

3)  Make giving a regular part of worship. Paul instructed the Corinthians to "lay something aside" on the first day of the week - a reference to their Sunday worship gathering. Church members should be encouraged to practice consistent giving as an act of worship.

4)  Give in proportion to your prosperity. God prospers us so we can, in turn, give more to Him.  This is true for individual believers and, by extension, the local church.  As God prospers your church, do you give increasingly more away for the cause of Christ, or do you squirrel it away for "safekeeping?"

5)  Give strategically. Paul didn't want the Corinthians to throw an offering together at the last minute when he arrived.  He wanted them to plan ahead and think about what they were giving.

6)  Don't stop at giving.  Paul didn't want the church at Corinth just to write a check (so to speak) for him to deliver.  He expected them to select a representative and deliver the gift themselves.  Healthy churches "go" as an extension of their giving.

7)  Follow the leader. Paul was the Corinthians' spiritual leader.  In v4 he states his willingness to help deliver the gift to Jerusalem if needed.  Leaders should not just talk about giving, but, be willing to do anything they ask their people to do.