Can I give you a couple of very scary stats? Here’s the first: 37% of people who attend church every week and identify themselves as evangelical don’t give any money to their church; 37%. They come and enjoy the blessings and the benefits of the local church that they are a part of and yet they don’t give anything.
Second stat: only 3-5% of American Christians ties to their church on a regular basis.
Now I look at those two stats and I’m a little bit scared about the future. Maybe rightfully so. We look at that we say wow what’s going to become of the church in the future? Can I just point out and really tie in to what I’m trying to get across, an “I Want” church member won’t tie, but an “I Will” church member will tie. An “I Want” church member is only interested in what they can get out of the church, but an “I Will” church member comes to church looking for ways to give. They don’t come to church seeing what they can take or what they can get, but rather an “I Will” church member comes saying it’s not about me it’s about others, it’s about the glory of God and honoring and worshipping him and praising him for what he has done in our lives. We come not with the mindset of “I want this” and “I want that” but we come with the mindset of “I Will” be a blessing to others “I Will” discipline myself and give up my time and my offerings to the local church.
Ephesians 5 verse 25: “even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.” To love Christ is to love what Christ loves. If we’re going to love Christ then we need to love what Christ loves and hate what Christ hates. So to love Christ is to love what Christ loves and this verse tells me that Christ loves the church. He loves the church so to love Christ is to love the church and notice also that to love the church is to give to the church.
Let’s not talk about how much we love Jesus and how much we love our church if we’re not willing to sacrificially give to Jesus and his church. To embrace an attitude of sacrifice what does that mean? It means that you are willing to support the ministry with your time and your offerings. It is not something just for the old timers to do it’s something for every generation today. the 20 year olds need to learn about the discipline of sacrificial giving to the Lord, the 30 year olds, the 40 year olds, the 50 year olds, the 60 year olds; all of us need to support the local church that God has so graciously allowed us to be apart of. It shouldn’t be that one segment supports the church with their time and offerings and this segment over there just enjoys the benefits of their giving. It’s all of us doing what we are supposed to do. That enables God’s work to go forward for his glory.
Secondly, we can sacrificially give of our time to serve in the ministry of our local church. You have heard me say before, but I’m going to say it again, our goal is not to have a few people doing everything, but rather everybody doing something. I want to repeat that. Our goal is not to have a few people doing everything, but rather to have everybody doing something. With a ministry this size there’s always a need for more people to serve.
How much time do you devote to serving in your local church? Think about how much time. How much time every week do you devote to serving in your local church? We should not have to beg for volunteers. We shouldn’t. Volunteers ought to be begging us for an opportunity to serve in their local church. We shouldn’t have to say that we need more children’s workers or we need three more greeters or we need a bus driver. We should have to say thank you for volunteering and as soon as something comes up we’ll let you know, but we’ve had so many volunteers we don’t know what to do with them all.