Q. Why do Christians give to the church?
A. For Christians, giving is an act of worship. We give to worship God. Since the local church is God's ordained means for evangelism and discipleship, we tithe to the church where we worship, grow and serve. In addition to giving money, we also give our time, energy and talents to serve others through the church.
Q. What does the word "tithe" mean?
A. The Bible talks about tithes and offerings. The word "tithe" means ten percent. A Christian who tithes gives ten percent of his or her income to the local church. An offering is any gift to the Lord above the tithe. Offerings can go to the church, to a special fund drive, to missionaries or to Christian organizations.
Q. Is my money used wisely?
A. GCC takes utmost care with the money it receives. The annual budget is made carefully and prayerfully, with the allocation of funds a reflection of GCC's strategy, mission and values. Spending is monitored and kept under budget and under income. Programs are analyzed and staff is evaluated regularly for effectiveness. Financial reports are available at Next Steps.
Q. What is offering money used for?
A. The church hires pastors and staff to lead the congregation in accomplishing its purpose of connecting people to Christ. The church offers worship, grow and serve programming/opportunities for all generations -- infants, children, students, parents, singles and senior adults of Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Hernando counties -- and cares for those who are hurting or grieving (REVIVE & Care Ministries). In addition, the church reaches out into the community and the world to share the Gospel and help those who cannot help themselves.
Q. What is the best method for giving?
A. One of the best methods for giving is online Bill Pay through your own bank, because online Bill Pay allows you to set up payments in any way and on any day you choose. You maintain control over all giving and there are no fees for you or the church with Online Bill Pay. You can stop and start at any time, set up regular donations, and change dates or amounts anytime. It's one more thing you can do when it's convenient and one less thing to have to remember.
You can also give to GCC through the GCC website, GCC App or Text-to-Give. Of course, cash or check are always welcome in church services on the weekends.
Q. What if I am destitute?
A. In the Old Testament, those who were destitute were exempt from tithing. If you are destitute (living below the poverty level), God doesn't expect you to tithe. You can give a free-will offering if you so choose. If you need help, contact GCC church office.
Q. What if I cannot afford to give?
A. If you are not destitute (living below the poverty level), there are a number of reasons why you may feel you cannot give. Maybe you are living above your means or maybe you are in debt. To help sort out your financial issues in a biblical way, GCC offers Financial Peace (REVIVE) on Friday nights (Trinity Campus). In addition, GCC suggests that you consider giving to God incrementally. Begin with giving a small percentage regularly. Be committed and faithful and see how God provides for you.
Q. I still have more questions. Who can I talk to?
A. Please stop by Next Steps any weekend after service.