Since we recently introduced an online giving option, it seemed appropriate to take a moment to reflect on our overall approach to giving at NCF:
- If you’ve been around long, you know that “Giving” is one among six core values of our fellowship, and within that, we typically emphasize that this includes giving of one’s time, talents, and resources. Of these things, we generally do not consider money to be the most important, as most often, people who come to our fellowship are blessed as much as if not more by the generosity displayed by acts of service, home-cooked meals, and good conversation.
- We never ask anyone to give beyond what they feel comfortable in any of these areas, and none of them are required for inclusion in our fellowship.
- In keeping with this, we do not talk about money much, and our approach has generally been to leave the choice of whether or not to support the congregation financially up to each individual or family unit. To ensure that no one is treated differently based on finances, very few people have access to specific giving information, especially not paid staff.
- Something else unique that was immediately obvious to me after coming to NCF was how much of NCF’s relatively small budget is spent outside of our fellowship. This ratio is huge in proportion to the average, not to mention for churches our size. Giving is not just about us, but we also strive to support those who are doing work that we cannot do ourselves (though in many cases, we also give time and energy outside our fellowship as well).
- We do our best to never use giving as a way to shame or guilt trip anyone who desires to grow closer to God by participating in our fellowship. Giving should not be an obstacle between you and God, but I hope that you take time to consider what you might have to offer our community in general and whether or not financial support is a part of that.
In closing, I just want to say that the online giving option is something we have decided to try (at a significantly discounted price) as a pragmatic way of hopefully making it easy to keep track of and have access to your giving information. If you are not comfortable with this option, there is no pressure to make a change in how you give. Our hope is that we can continue to provide a generous community atmosphere where everyone can continue to be blessed by the many gifts that each of us has to offer.