Thank you for considering giving to the ministry of Shoreline Community Church.
It is greatly appreciated.
We want to be clear and transparent about what we, Shoreline Community Church, believe as to what “giving” to the church is—and isn’t. When we give to the church, we are first giving to the Lord, not simply engaging in philanthropy. In the Old Testament, David prays to the Lord when the collection was being taken from the congregation for the building of the Temple…
But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You. 1st Chronicles 29:14
David understood we don’t give the Lord anything that He has not first given to us. Everything belongs to the Lord by virtue of creation. We can only give back to Him.
In the New Testament, the principle for giving is to give as we have been given by God; that is, give according to God’s generosity to us. Paul writes to the Corinthians…
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed… 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8
Our giving is not to be “under compulsion” or a feeling that we “have to” give. God is not poor. He does not need our money. Yet, God gives us the privilege and opportunity of being involved in giving to ministries that help to promote the gospel of Christ. As Jesus taught us, it is more blessed to give than to receive. There is more joy in giving to others than just receiving more stuff in life.
Giving things, or finances, to God will not result in salvation or eternal life. Eternal life comes only by grace through faith. As Paul told the Ephesian church…
For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, that no man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Giving money to gain salvation would be an attempt to pay for your salvation. The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus is the One who has paid for our salvation. As Paul told the Corinthian Christians…
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1st Corinthians 6:20
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. 1st Corinthians 15:3
Our righteousness was never enough. We needed Christ’s righteousness to gain peace with God. So Paul wrote to the Philippian church…
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith… Philippians 3:7-9
Only through the death of Christ on the cross for our sins can we be acceptable to God; no works of our own can cause us to “earn” heaven or salvation. That includes giving of money. Philanthropy will not earn anyone a place in heaven. That does not mean that giving financially to worthy projects is not a good thing—it is. It only means that giving by itself, like any other good work we can do, is simply not enough to gain salvation and eternal life. Paul reminds us that…
…all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God Romans 3:23
Giving is first of all a love response, a practical reaction to the great love which God has shown us. Secondly, it helps to support the ministry of the gospel of Christ, and the local church, and missions dedicated to promoting the gospel. If that is your goal, we would be very grateful to receive your tithes and offerings.
Our church is committed to the gospel of Christ, the good news that Jesus alone is the answer to the questions of life that matter most. We preach this good news, and we seek to live it out in the community that we live in. If you would like to know more about our church and its ministries, we would be happy to speak with you. You can all us at (805) 963-4228 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If the church presently has your email address, please use the same email address as you give.