There is no better advice I can give you regarding giving than this, start somewhere and grow. Honestly, that’s the best advice there is. Give a little and see what God will do with the gift and for you. Then, give a little more and see if His commitment to be good to you remains the same.

Here is a suggested generosity plan for you. (I found it at a church with similar values to Calvary’s.)

1. Give for the first time.
2. Give consistently.
3. Give intentionally.
4. Give a tenth (a tithe).
5. Give generously (a tithe + offerings).

The first is self-explanatory, of course. The second step, consistency, means that you make giving a part of your budget and you submit a percentage of your income on a regular basis. I was sitting next to a college student one Sunday when he began looking around frantically and whispering, “I dropped my offering. I dropped my offering.” I looked around too and found a quarter under the chair. He plucked it from my fingers, said, “Thank you so much!” and hurried down the aisle to catch up with the usher carrying the offering plate! I know how poor this young man is, and it warmed my heart to know he was giving something.

Intentional giving, step 3, means that you increase your percentage of giving over the years. Bump it from 3-percent to 4, then from 4 to 5, and so on. The goal is to grow to place where you are giving 10-percent of your income. This is called “tithing” in Scripture. It might take awhile, but it is a worthwhile goal.

The final step, giving generously, means that every once in awhile you go above and beyond the tithe to give extra. Calvary expects all church leaders to be at step 4 or 5 because we want to lead by example. My wife and I are at step 5 not because we have lots of money laying around but because we really believe this what God desires for us to do with the resources He has entrusted to us. We find giving to be a joy, and we don’t want you to miss out on it!

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