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.
- You can give in the worship services.
- You can give online.
- You can give through direct pay.
- You can give through mailing envelopes.
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 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.
Giving and stewardship are important disciplines in the life of a believer. There are many ways in which we can give – through serving and giving of our time, talents and finances. Consistently giving to God’s Kingdom is a bold step of faith and we know that many of you have questions regarding what the Bible says about money and giving. We encourage you to read our Giving Questions section below.
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 three methods. 1) You can give online one time or on a scheduled basis through your bank’s online bill pay system. 2) You can make one-time gifts using the form the button above takes you to, either with checking transfer or by credit card. 3) You can set up scheduled recurring gifts by logging into your account in our online community and using the giving options there to set up recurring gifts. You are in complete control and can cancel that schedule at any time.
Please view this quick tutorial.
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 online community provider, Planning Center, and our merchant account provider, Stripe. 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 Planning Center servers. Instead, it is stored securely through Stripe’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’s online payment option, a small percentage of the amount you pay will go toward the standard Stripe service fee.
Q: Does Freshwater have a preference on what method I use to donate?
A: Because of the effort that goes into counting and tracking donations split among multiple funds, and the cost of processing donations, the order of preference would be:
- A fully and properly filled out offering envelope given in the Sunday offering or dropped by the church office. Envelopes can be arranged by contacting the church office.
- An ACH transaction made through Planning Center and allocated as you desire to different accounts.
- An electronic check sent through your bank’s online bill pay or your financial software with the account breakdown included as a memo line.
- A credit card transaction made through Planning Center and allocated as you desire to different accounts.
Q: Can I give to more than one fund type at a time, i.e. to the general budget AND to missions?
A: If you use your bank’s online bill pay system (or Quicken or other software) you can designate your funds on the memo line of the check, i.e. “$50 missions” (undesignated portions of your giving go to the general budget.
Our form for giving online also allows giving to more than one account for both one-time and recurring gifts. You can give one gift and split it among as many funds as you wish, out of these fund accounts we have made available for online giving.
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.