INTRODUCTION

Giving is one of the items of worship. It is a command which all Christians must endeavor to obey. There are three main passages of the scripture which normally support giving on the first day of the week:

  • 16: 2 – Giving based on one’s prosperity.
  • 8: 12 – Having a willing mind to give and based on what we have and not beyond our ability
  • 9: 7 – Giving according to what one had purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity. And for us to be able to achieve all these, we must first give ourselves to God. (2Cor. 8: 2 – 5).

We can summarise the first three passages thus:

  • Plan what you want to give to the Lord on the first day of the week.
  • Whatever you propose must be based on God’s prosperity on you. You should not be sentimental or emotional.
  • You must be ready to do that willingly (willing mind)
  • It should not be beyond what you can afford.
  • As you are giving as you had proposed do not do it grudgingly (regret or reluctantly)
  • Feel happy as you do it.
  • For God loves a cheerful giver (God will accept our offering and bless us)

Giving when the going is good or difficult:

  • When the going is good:

Under this circumstance the giving is a routine.

Money is always available for the Christians to give. However, the first area of concern is whether what he gives is commensurate with God’s blessing on him. Second, what he does when unexpected income comes in.

  • Giving during times of poverty or hardship:

Giving during this time is always reinforce, because the Christian does not have enough to cater for his needs. Some uncertainties may come to play, threatening to affect already planned giving. Eg:

  • Business – poor sales\proceeds
  • Salary earner – salary not paid or not paid as at when due or part payment
  • Landlords – rents not paid or when due
  • Legislation – increase in the price of petroleum products or increase in tariff. Under this condition of varied income, the collection also varies. In adjusting, the Christian does not neglect or allocate a very little percentage to giving. For a business man amount to be set aside for giving must be on daily basis as against weekly as he did before. For a salary earner, what does he do when the arrears of salary is paid? Does he sit down to calculate the deficiency during the period of unpaid salary? What happens to the Landlords when rents are paid?
  • Does the number of cars in the Assembly have any bearing with the collection of the saints?

Some people when they see the number of cars we have during worship service asset that our collection should be reasonable. Though I was able to obtain the number of cars here for two Sundays, I abandoned the idea because most of our cars are within the ages of 15 to 25 years. Some enter the workshop once a week or fortnightly. Some have become a liability to the owner. Therefore, one should not use the number of cars to determine our collection, but the quality of the cars. Since everybody does not have a car and you are able to afford one, no matter the condition of the vehicle, you must discharge your obligation to God.

Population Analysis:

I tried to see the correlation between weekly population and collection. The analysis shows that increase in attendance does not necessarily translate into increase in collection. Eg forth Sundays of January and May 2016. There is no particular week\weeks of the month we can say we will always have reasonable collection. Therefore, we must encourage our brethren to give reasonably every week.

ANALYSIS 1

COLLECTION/ ATTENDANCE PER WEEK FOR 2016

DESCRIPTION JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY
1ST Sunday

Attendance

Avg Collection

394,930

843

468.48

321,030

868

393.38

315,095

801

393.38

393,250

801

490.94

305,665

799

382.50

3rd Sunday

Attendance

Avg Collection

289,580

843

343.51

290,790

847

343.32

402,955

789

510.71

260,895

791

329.83

314,645

843

373.24

4th Sunday

Attendance

AvgCollection

299,330

750

399.12

299,120

705

424.28

265,485

767

346.13

297,175

762

348.41

217,015

740

293.26

Budgeted Weekly Collection  – N391,000

Is the budget of N391,000.00 weekly achievable?

Some complain that N391,000 weekly which translates to N20,332,000.00 per annum is too much and not achievable. Below is my projection on this:

Analysis 2 (Projection) based on 500 adult attendance:

10 persons givingN5,000             –           N50,000.00

20 persons giving N3,000                        –           60,000.00

50 persons giving N2,000                        –           100,000.00

100 persons giving N1,000                     –           100,000.00

200 persons giving N500                         –           100,000.00

120 persons givingN200                          –           24,000.00

500     Sub-Total                   –          434,000.00

Add average collection for children                  10,000.00

N444,000.00

This figure excludes building fund. Therefore N391,000.00 is achievable.

Does additional collection made on some Sundays affect the collection for the day?

It does not because most of these collections are made after normal collection and impromptu.

Does the support for outside preachers etc by individual brethren affect the weekly collection? The answer is No. apart from back-to-the-Bibleprogramme, the number of brethren supporting these groups are very small compared with the population of the Church.

Need for Brethren to try and give more

  • The pressure on the Church purse is much. Presently our wage bill is about N365,000.00 within and outside the congregation. Request for assistance are coming in large number.
  • Some local congregations are requesting for supports for their Ministers.
  • For sometimes now we may be hiring buses for outings because our bus has broken down.

CONCLUSION

For us to be able to achieve our budget for this year we must make sacrifice. There is always abundant blessings for those who give to the Lord generously not minding the difficult time.

2Cor. 9: 8 – “And God is able to make all grace abound towards you; that ye,always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work”

Vs 10 – “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness”

Vs 11 –“ Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”

May God bless us as we give generously in Jesus name.

 

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UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO

INDOOR LECTURE FOR SUNDAY 5TH JUNE, 2016 BY N. U. AKPAN(ELDER)