Throughout the Bible, there is this consistent theme of giving from “firstfruits” of our income or labor as an act of worship. Right off the top. It’s this acknowledgement that all we have and own is not ours but God’s. The fancy Bible word for that was “tithe,” which literally meant “a tenth” or 10%. In the Old Testament, God’s people lived according to law and the law required 10%.
In the New Testament, following Christ’s life, death and resurrection, this idea of giving was completely changed. Motivation to give went from law to grace. Grace is different. It doesn’t state what the minimum is like the law did. Grace simply ties our giving to the level or measure of Christ giving himself for us. Christ gave His life for us, so the implication is our giving should be as sacrificial as His grace. If you think about it, the law is a much cheaper way to go but grace is far more costly when it’s tied to Christ. Christ didn’t give 10%; He gave everything.
“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” ~ Malachi 3:10
If you have never given, we’d like to challenge you to start. A goal could be 10% but it may take you a while to get there. We want to challenge you to give because God gives this promise of blessing those who are generous towards him (Mal 3:10-12). How that blessing looks is up to God but there are so many stories – even at our church – of God providing for people. Try a three-month challenge. Step out in faith and tell God you are giving to Him out of worship and a heart that wants to trust in Him rather than in money.
When you’re ready to give, click on the “Give Online” button at the top of this page. For more information on giving, click through the tabs above.
There are a variety of ways you can give.
There are several ways to give to Freshwater.
- You can give on the website through this link.
- Give with text-to-give by texting the word Freshwater to (206) 859-9405.
- Use the My Freshwater Church app (download from the App store or GooglePlay).
- Give through direct bill pay through your bank. Just add Freshwater as a vendor just as you would for a utility company.
- Mail or drop off a paper check to our office at 560 Hartman Rd. Wadsworth, OH 44281 between 9 am and 12 pm, Monday through Thursday.
Q: What are my giving dollars used for?
A: Your gifts are used to fund God’s work through the ministry of Freshwater Community Church and are directed as you specify when you give online. Currently you can give directly to the general budget of Freshwater Community Church, to missions via the Great Commission Fund, to certain approved specials, or to our Benevolence Fund which is used to assist families in need in the community.
Q: How can I give online?
A: You can give online using any of the following methods: 1) You can give online one time or on a scheduled basis through your bank’s online bill pay system. Just add Freshwater as a vendor. 2) You can make one-time or recurring gifts using the form the Give Online button above takes you to, either with checking account transfer or by credit or debit card. 3) You can set up scheduled recurring gifts by setting up an account through the My Freshwater App available on GooglePlay or the App Store. Just follow the instructions to set up your account. 4) You can use text-to-give by texting the word Freshwater to (206) 859-9405.
You are in complete control and can cancel or schedule gifts at any time.
Q: Is giving online secure?
A: Yes. It is the policy of Freshwater Church to protect your personal privacy. We request information from a user on our site if the user performs a financial transaction. Online giving transactions are processed via our church management software, Planning Center, and our merchant account provider, Subsplash. At no time is your information stored on or passed through servers or data repositories owned and managed by church personnel.
Q: Is my online giving information kept private?
A: The online giving form requires you to give us enough personal information to perform the checking account or credit card payment. Only the financial team and you can view your giving records in our online community. We do not sell or give away your private information for any reason. Payment information is not stored on church servers. Instead, it is stored securely through Subsplash’s servers, which fully meet the PCI Security Standards Council compliance guidelines.
(If you are currently receiving offering envelopes, and you sign up for recurring online donations, you may call the office to have your envelope delivery stopped.)
All contributions are income tax deductible and are made with the understanding that the church has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds.
Q: Does the church receive all of my money if I give online?
A: That depends on the method with which you choose to give online. If your bank offers online bill pay, 100% of the amount you give goes to the church if you choose this method. If you give through this website, the app, or text-to-give, Freshwater pays processing and transaction fees. The fees are less if you link a bank account rather than a credit/debit card.
Q: What about giving statements for tax purposes?
A: Your year-end giving statement will be available in January or early February. You will receive a secure email link that will allow you to download your giving statement. If you wish to view your giving history at any time, visit https://thefreshwaterchurch.churchcenter.com/giving/profile. Login to your giving account and click the Giving History button.
Q: How late in the year can I make a donation and receive a credit for this year’s taxes?
A: Per IRS regulations, contributions for each year must be received in the office, by the treasurer, or clearly postmarked by December 31st of that year in order to receive donation credit for that year’s tax purposes. Please submit your online, mailed or in-person donation accordingly.
Q: Why would you allow credit card gifts when people can abuse credit cards?
A: We’ve had people ask about why we would allow credit cards because people can abuse them. From our understanding of history, every form of money has been abused. People abuse cash. People abuse checks. People abuse credit cards. People abuse online payments. People even abused the trading of chickens and goats. If we refused to use any form of money because of its temptations and pitfalls, we would be without recourse.
We do offer a class called Financial Peace University that is helping many people to get control of their spending and savings. The location of the problem is not in the mode but in the heart. It’s for that reason we feel the freedom to use any form of money to empower people to give. If you would like to be part of our next FPU class, contact the church office!