set aside year-end donations early
If you do not plan ahead, you could unintentionally allow this year's Black Friday to give your church a black eye. You love your church, and you believe in the work that the church is doing. You sincerely want to see it thrive, and you believe God is blessing. Even if you are someone who is not easily lured into impulsive bargain snatching, despite your best intentions, if you do not set aside funds now for your year-end donations, those donations will likely be weaker if they happen at all.
A little less than a third of all tax filers itemize deductions, but we give to God's work for reasons beyond the Internal Revenue Code. For Southern Baptists, December is the month we emphasize international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. There are many opportunities for charitable giving, and I love what one speaker from the NC Baptist Foundation set forth awhile back. Christians should give to Christian causes; who else is going to do so?
Pray about an amount God would like for you to give, and go ahead and give those funds or set them aside if you can discipline yourself not to spend them later. By taking care of what is most important first, you avoid the possibility of accidentally omitting your church from the cash outflows of the season. Remember, whatever you do, don't give out of compulsion or obligation. Give out of a cheerful heart, because you want to - not because you felt guilty after reading this blog post.
Your Church Needs You
Picture a home builder that needs to support about 100,000 pounds of house. If he has just one support beam under that load, that one beam has to support it all - all 100,000 pounds. Say he configures the plan to call for ten support beams - each one only has to support 10,000 pounds. But increase the number of beams to 20, and now these beams can enjoy a 5,000 pound walk in the park. I know you can do this simple math, and so what was the point of this elementary math lesson?
If we were to quantify the ministry that is to be done in the local church in terms of man hours, or the funds that it will take to help God’s work in the local church flourish, and place all of that responsibility on the shoulders of one person - wow! The person is going to crumble. Even if someone could sustain the load for 3 seconds, they are toast afterward.