Faith and Money: Being a Good Steward of God’s Grace

Faith and Money: Being a Good Steward of God's Grace

-By Pastor Ruttan | June 2024

-The section called ‘7 Principles for Financial Givings’ was adapted from a document produced by Herb and Shirley Gale

Faith and Money

In my experience, many people are unsure about how money works in the church. Like a household or other community organizations, the church clearly has financial needs and priorities (programs, staff, outreaches, building, bills…), and people clearly give money in certain situations, but how does it all fit together? This document is intended to help.

What is a Steward of God’s Grace?

The word “stewardship” comes from the Biblical concept of “steward”: a person who manages the affairs of a household for the owner. Here we focus on financial stewardship. Using the word ‘steward’ reminds that we are deliberate about how we manage the money God has entrusted to us.

It’s been said that Jesus talked about money and possessions more than any other topic except the kingdom of God. Clearly, it’s something we should pay attention to.

7 Principles for Financial Giving

1. Giving is a symbolic act of worship which expresses the giving of our whole self

A Biblical view of stewardship will focus not on the wallet, but on aligning our grateful hearts with Jesus and his self-giving love. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Jesus in Matthew 6:21).

2. We give in response to God’s grace, not to earn it

Our human tendency is to think that we must somehow earn God’s approval and acceptance. The Bible teaches us, however, that there is no way to earn God’s love (it wouldn’t be “grace” if we could earn it). Our giving is simply an expression of gratitude for what God has done for us.

3. We give intentionally and of our own free will

Paul wrote: “Each of you must give as you have made up your own mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Therefore: (1) our giving should be intentional, not casual; (2) we should give freely, not because we have been manipulated by a false sense of guilt.

4. Give the “first fruits” not the “leftovers” of your income

Proverbs 3:9 says: “Honour the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” The Israelites were instructed to dedicate to the Lord their “first fruits” (i.e. the first fruits to ripen of their harvest) as they trusted in the promise that the Lord will continue to provide. God calls us, as an expression of our trust in God’s provision, to give the first fruits of our income, not what is left over after we have paid our other bills and expenses.

5. We give regularly

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to get into the habit of giving regularly. Whether we give weekly or bi-weekly or monthly, it is important that giving to God’s work become a habitual part of our regular discipleship. In this way, we can think of our giving as a spiritual discipline alongside our other regular commitments to prayer, worship or fasting.

6. We give proportionally

In 1 Corinthians 16:2, we also notice as well that Paul says that we are to give “as God has prospered” us. Here Paul introduces the idea of proportional giving (i.e. giving a percentage of what God has given us). Paul re-iterates this principle in 2 Corinthians when he writes: “For if eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12). Our giving to the church and its ministry is not intended to be a burden on us; rather, we give as a way of sharing some of our abundance as God has prospered us. 

7. We give cheerfully

Paul wrote: “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). He suggests that we give until it feels good! Paul knew that investing in God’s Kingdom was a joyous adventure in faith, not a burdensome duty. As Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

What about other ways of helping?

These are also important offerings we make for God and for the benefit of others. A part of our giving includes donating food to the food bank or local shelter. It includes sponsoring families at Christmas and children at Vacation Bible School.

It also includes donating our time and energy to help with God-honouring projects. Some of these occur on Sunday mornings, but others occur throughout the week. A phrase that is often used is giving our “time and talent.” These are all a critical part of our stewardship at Westminster.

What about tithing?

You sometimes hear Christians talk about “tithing.” Tithing is the practice of giving 10% of one’s income for sacred purposes. The word itself means just that: “tenth.” The Old Testament includes commands to the people to present a tithe of their produce to God. In the New Testament Jesus condemned tithing when it led to self-righteousness (see Luke 18:9-14). Zacchaeus gave more than half of his savings away after he had been touched by Jesus’ love (Luke 19:8), and the early Christians went far beyond tithing when they gave everything they owned to be used for the common good (c.f. Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-25).

The New Testament does not lay down any laws about giving, but invites us to learn to give with the same whole-hearted generosity we see in Jesus.  In all of this we also need to keep in mind people’s individual circumstances, and that people can often give with their time and talent, especially when individual circumstances are difficult. But as a general principle, tithing is good practice.

Where does the church get its money? Does some come from other sources?

Westminster gets 100% of its money from you, the congregation—roughly 90% through financial offerings and 10% from building rentals. We are a “self-supporting” congregation, which means that your generosity supports the entire ministry.

Percentage Calculator – a helpful tool

Below you will find a “Percentage Calculator” to help you in thinking about your giving.  It helps us know the percentage of income we are currently giving. It also helps us know how many dollars to give each week to reach a certain percentage level. If you feel you are able, try moving one block to the right to see what a higher percentage would mean for your weekly giving.

Here’s an example of how it works.  Suzanne makes approximately $41,500 a year.  She has normally given 7% for the mission of her church (what she gives each week).  If you follow the percentage calculator below, that would mean a weekly gift of $56.  If Suzanne wanted to move a column to the right she would be increasing her gift to $64. (If you’re reading this on your phone the graphic will most likely appear small; if so, save it to your phone and reload, or look at it from your desktop computer.)

This example is simply to help you understand how the percentage calculator works.

The amount you give is known only by you, God and the church treasurer.

How do I give?

Here are the most common ways to give.

  1. Through automated withdrawal from your bank account. (Contact the treasurer for information; see below.)
  2. Through etransfer (etransfer [at] westminsterpc [dot] ca)
  3. Through a cheque in the mail, or a cheque dropped off in-person at the church (170 Steel St., Barrie, ON, L4M 2G4).
  4. Putting an offering envelope in our offering box on Sundays (by the front door or near the back of the sanctuary).
  5. Through our smart phone app.

Donations to Westminster are counted as charitable donations. At year’s end you will receive a tax receipt. (But the treasurer needs to know it’s you; i.e. the church obviously can’t tell who put loose change in an offering box.)

For more information, or for donation envelopes, contact treasurer Mary Colvin: m [dot] colvin [at] rogers [dot] com or 705-728-0541 (church office).


Our giving is something for our own conscience to decide—informed by Scripture and grounded in prayer.  May God give all of us the grace we need to become faithful stewards.


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