Giving financially to the local church is often sadly something we do reluctantly. It can feel like an additional burden in a time when we are all too aware of the rising cost of living and the fall in value of our wages. And so when we hear church leaders appeal to us to give, or even to give more, we can so easily grow to resent it.
But when it comes to our difficulties with giving, they differ so sharply from what Paul says in his second letter to the church in Corinth about the young believers in Macedonia. In the midst of severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. And even more than that, they did not give because they were asked: Paul says -
“Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.”
So what was it that moved the Macedonian Christians to behave like this? It turns out generous financial giving only occurs when people first of all give themselves. Paul says of these young believers -
“They exceeded our expectations: they gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.”
Before they ever gave a penny, the members of the church in Macedonia had given themselves entirely to the Lord and to His people. This was personal. We rarely have a difficulty in sacrificing what we might spend on ourselves to provide for the needs of our family and the people that we love. Our resources will cease to be ours and become His only when that is first of all true of us as people.
By giving to the work of CENTRAL, you’re giving out of response to what God has already done for us. You’re giving out of a heart that is completely given over to Jesus and in a world where money has taken such a hold on lives, by giving money we shatter its power over our lives. Giving is important, not just to the purposes and people we give to, but it does something to us. Being a people of generosity changes us.
And finally, by giving to the work of CENTRAL, you’re giving to our vision and commitment to join with God and others in the transformation of the city of Belfast as disciples who make disciples.
HOW DO I GIVE?
At CENTRAL, all of our finances are handled by our parent church Carnmoney Church so please remember to always reference CENTRAL when you give. There are 4 ways that you can give -
1/ STANDING ORDER - This is the best way as it allows you to be prepared and to budget, and it allows us to budget too. By setting up a standing order, you are transferring money from your bank account automatically on a regular basis according to what you agreed.
To set up a standing order, just download the form and return one half to your bank and the other to our church office or use the bank details included in the form to set up the standing order using online banking. Remember to let us know that you’re giving the money to CENTRAL, and if you’re a tax payer don’t forget to fill in your gift aid!
2/ DONATE ONLINE - You can do this through your own online banking using the details below -
Account Name: Carnmoney Presbyterian Church
Bank: Ulster Bank / Account Number: 40625078 / Sort Code: 98-11-45
Or alternatively through our JustGiving Page
3/ TEXT - You can donate up to £10.00 at any time using Text and this is paid via your phone bill.
To do this, just text CARN99 £AMOUNT to 70070
4/ WEEKLY GIVING AT CENTRAL GATHERINGS
You can give in cash at any of our CENTRAL gatherings during our collection.
What we do with our money, including our giving, cannot be excluded from our Christian discipleship so pray about what you will give. Without prayer at the heart of giving we run the danger of divorcing it from the spirituality of both individual Christians and the ethos of the church. Thinking, talking and acting with integrity around money is not just a necessary, but rather a natural part of the worshipping, praying, missionary life of the Church.
“But since you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you - see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”
2 Corinthians 8:7