What would the Gospel have to do with the church budget? The obvious response would be that we allocate funds for outreach to share the Gospel with others, making sure our finances are used for more than paying salaries, facilities, and utilities. While that is true, a better response might be that the Gospel propels giving in the Church.
How Remembering the Gospel Propels Giving
The Gospel is the power of God to not only bring salvation but also to change lives. All things become new (2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 3:1-10) because of what Jesus did on the cross which includes:
-a change in perspective
We realize that this world is not our home and we want to invest into that which counts for eternity (Phil. 3:18-21; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11-12). Consequently, we follow Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:19-21 —
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
-a change in motivation
We no longer live for self but for Him who died for us. Consequently, stingy and self-centered living changes to generous giving “not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). It’s the logical response to a God who loves us so much He sent His only Son to die for us.
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Cor. 5:15)
How Forgetting the Gospel Adversely Affects Finances
When giving is down in the Church, perhaps it is a sign that we need to get back to the cross. The absence of the qualities that lead to generous giving (faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, love) suggest that we have forgotten the power of the Gospel.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sin. (2 Pet. 1:8-9)
Service and generosity accompany our confession of the Gospel:
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Cor. 9:13-15)
When we forget about that indescribable gift — Jesus, dying on the cross in our place, we will be less prone to use our money for outreach in sharing the Gospel with others. We will tend to be less generous givers. Our perspective becomes worldly. Our motivation becomes self-centered.