Why is giving so important? We also recognize that Jesus talked more about giving than the subjects of heaven, hell, or prayer. In Matthew 6:21 and 24 Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” In Luke 6:38 He says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” What is a "Tithe"? As Christ Followers, we believe that we are to follow God’s command regarding tithing. “Tithe” means “tenth” or 10 percent. Leviticus 27:30 says, “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.” In Malachi 3:8-10 God speaks to His people, “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” What is an Offering? Chestnut Mountain Church believes that we are mere stewards of what God has given us. Therefore, we see tithing as giving back what is God’s to God (and He lets us keep the other 90% to use appropriately). Any amount above 10% is considered an offering to God. This type of giving is over and above and should also be done with cheerfulness. Why do we give? Giving is a privilege. The storehouse spoken of in Malachi is what we consider the local church. By partnering our monies together, God’s work is done more effectively. Even Paul recognized this in the newly formed churches of the New Testament. He tells the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 8:13-15, “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.” How do I excel in giving? The apostle Paul spoke to the new churches about giving. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Paul admonishes the Corinthian church, “Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” He prompted the believers to be generous. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” And in 2 Corinthians 8:7 he encourages, “But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” How do we give? At Chestnut Mountain Church we have several ways that you can give to God’s work through your tithes and offerings. You can give by cash or check on Sundays, you can mail a check to our offices, you can give online, or you can have an automatic draft. Please know that the online giving does not make a distinction regarding a debit card or a credit card. We do strongly suggest that no one use a credit card unless it is paid off every month. The Bible speaks in Proverbs 22:7 about “…the borrower [being] servant to the lender.” We do not wish our congregation to go into debt by tithing on a credit card. Is online giving Safe? The Short Answer: Yes! As a matter of fact, giving online is safer and more secure than giving via cash or check. Additionally, it is more expensive and more difficult for the church to process cash and check gifts. The Long Answer: Yes! In our pop culture driven world, movies and shows might lead you to believe that there is a world of hackers just waiting to steal your money as you’re making a transaction online; this just isn’t true. Once you submit your payment via most secure online forms, ours included, that information is encrypted and sent directly to CMC’s merchant account for payment processing. Essentially, our merchant account is a bank that talks to your bank. There is no intermediary which stands between you and the bank; therefore no individual ever sees your information at all. CMC cannot see your credit card / debit card information, and the only way someone could get their hands on this information would be by stealing the card itself out of your wallet. On the other hand, consider the risks of writing a check. There is very sensitive information written on a check, your bank account number, name and address, as well as your routing number. This information gives a business or person direct access to your funds. Unlike a debit card which you can have canceled reissued in a matter of hours, closing and reopening a bank account is a larger affair and has less protections associated with it. On top of all this, your check will be handled by numerous individuals along the payment processing trail until the money is finally deducted from your account. Online giving decreases the opportunities for failure, and eliminates the risk involved with making regular payments or donations to an organization. As always, your privacy and online security are guaranteed by our bank and payment gateway. Online giving is also best for Chestnut Mountain Church. Giving electronically saves CMC quite a bit of time and money in the long run, and we do especially appreciate everyone who decides to participate in online giving.