ENOUGH: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity, Generosity and Gratitude

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This fall we will focus on Adam Hamilton’s stewardship study Enough. We will rediscover the Bible’s wisdom when it comes to prudent financial practices and the keys to experiencing contentment, overcoming fear, and discovering joy through simplicity and generosity. This book could change your life, by changing your relationship with money. Join us Sundays in October for a combined Sunday School study in the Chapel at 9:45. Copies may be purchased for $10 by contacting Mark Lucke, mlucke@firstmethodistplano.org. 

Everything we have belongs to God

This year we invite you to celebrate the joy of generosity as you complete your Estimate of Giving card for 2017. We encourage you to find greater contentment and simplicity in your life. We invite you to experience the joy that comes from knowing that your gifts honor God and impact our world. 

Our challenge as members of FirstChurch Plano is to find ways to grow deeper in our faith. One way to do this is to offer our financial blessing to God through our tithes and offerings. Through these gifts, we invest in God’s vision and purpose and create an opportunity for God to work through us. Our gifts to God each week are an act of worship and vital for changing lives and transforming communities.

Why is giving important?

The Bible has much to say about wisdom and finances with 2,300 verses that tell us to be generous and good stewards of our resources. Jesus taught generosity and sacrifice. He demanded that his followers serve not wealth but God, and in the parable of the talents he taught that God will hold us each accountable for what we do with all of our earthly possessions. 

What is expected of me?

In his book Enough, Adam Hamilton uses apples to illustrate tithing. Imagine that God has given us ten apples and nine are ours to enjoy. We can use these nine apples to take care of ourselves and our families, save them for a later day, or even give them away to those who don’t have any apples. But the tenth apple is for God. It is holy. Hamilton says, “Giving this apple to God first, before we consume the other nine apples, is a way for us to express praise, love, obedience, faithfulness, worship, and devotion to God.” 

If you are not yet tithing, consider taking a step toward tithing this year. For example, if you now give 3% of your income, consider increasing your gift to 4%, and add 1% each year until you reach the tithing goal. The average giving in America for all charitable giving is 2.4% of income. Our prayer is that everyone will grow in his or her faith giving financially to the ministries of the church and experience the joy and blessings that come from financial generosity.

What if financial hardship prohibits me from making a commitment this year?

Don’t let your inability to give at this time keep you from worship. Remember that God honors your faithfulness and that your acceptance at FirstChurch Plano is not based upon your capacity to give. We ask that everyone return an Estimate of Giving card even if it is a limited financial commitment at this time. You can always increase or decrease your commitment if your situation changes by calling the church. Also, be sure to let our pastoral staff know of your situation so that they can pray for you and support you during any difficulty. We also offer classes to assist members to become better managers of all that God gives them. For more information, contact Mark Lucke, mlucke@firstmethodistplano.org. 

Why do I need to return an estimate of giving card?

There are two reasons it is important that every member of our church family return an estimate of giving card. First, the process of prayerfully asking God to guide your decision to make a commitment to serve the Lord with your financial gifts is an act of worship and an expression of gratitude and praise. Second, on a more practical note, your commitment allows our church to budget and better plan for our ministries, key objectives, and mission outreach programs.

Should I use electronic funds transfer?

Electronic funds transfer (EFT) is the easiest, most cost-effective giving option for both you and the church. With EFT, you can reinforce your commitment to give your tithes and offerings to God first before anything else. One easy step each year guarantees that the church will receive your gifts on a regular basis, even if you were out of town or you forget one week. On a practical note, EFT reduces the need for additional staff to process offerings.