Grace Giving

Did You Know:

1. Tithing and Grace Giving are not the same.

2. Under Old Testament Law, tithing (at first, of agricultural produce) was expected, mandated under threat of punishment and with promise of favor with God.

3. Grace Giving
  • may be less or more than 10% of our time, produce, or financial income,
  • is enabled (supported) by
    • the Heart of Christ within us for meeting the Redemptive (healing) needs of broken people, and by
    • our financial ability to give (out of the overflow of our abundance – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
4. We give
  • first, to invest in the redemptive (health and healing) needs of ourselves,
  • secondly and subsequently, to meet the redemptive needs of those in our family we are called to support,
  • next, to meet the redemptive needs of our neighbors, and
  • then, extending eventually, to meet the redemptive needs of hurting people in all the world.
5, Grace giving
  • supports sacred (redemptive) needs, not secondary orsuperficial (feel good) needs,
  • does not support sinful needs, and
  • is never sacrificial – for example, it does not neglect our own health (redemptive) needs in order to give to others, even to our children. (That’s because the best we can give others is a healthy us.)
6. Grace giving may be
  • direct - to meet the redemptive needs of a broken person, or
  • through a proxy – for example,
    • to a parent, as a proxy, to support the redemptive needs of their children or
    • to a church, as a proxy, to support ministry for providing the redemptive needs to others which we do not have opportunity or ability to provide ourselves.
7. Understanding the concept of Grace Giving is deep-rooted in our theology (understanding of how God relates to us, especially during this Age of Grace – that he is in a support position beneath us, like the Vine is to the branch, and not in power position over us).

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19D24

Did You Know

1. God calls us to give, but it is not in order for us to
  • give back to him,
  • prove our faith, love, and gratitude, or in order to
  • gain his approval with the hope of earning (being worthy of) his blessings (or at least staying out of trouble with him). 
2. Rather, he calls us

  • First, to come and RECEIVE from him his Provisions of Grace (in order to be established in health and in holiness [usefulness to God for redemptive service to others]), and then (only then),
  • Second, to go and GIVE (minister) to others in order to help meet their redemptive needs. 
Giving from the Overflow: How We Live Out God’s Call to Ministry

3. God calls us to give (provide redemptive ministry) to others, either
  • directly (one on one) or
  • indirectly (through church ministries). 
4. We give to a church ministry (for indirect giving to others), only if:
  • It supports others in the way it supports us.
  • God has called us to the same type ministry (for a few of many examples, Christian-based education, home and foreign missions/church planting, and, of course, grace/faith-based counseling), but for regrettable reasons, we cannot go.
  • It does not have a program for soliciting funds or a fundraising staff.
  • Funds received are used to provide only the most essential and modest needs (without a hint of excess) for office supplies and equipment, transportation expense, and other needs which make communicating its message possible.
  • Funds received by the ministry are not used to provide personal living expenses for staff. (Jesus was not paid a salary. Also, Paul, an apostle and missionary, was a tentmaker. Of course, they lived modestly.)
  • Both direct and indirect giving are supported from the overflow of God’s Grace Provision into our lives (2 Corinthians 9:8; John 15:4-5).
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 17A05

Did You Know:

1. We do not give support to God (or his Resources); instead

  • he gives to us and
  • we receive from him. 
2. We give/provide ministry support
  • from the support we receive from God,
  • to our families, and then
  • out of our abundance (but never sacrificially),
  • having met the redemptive needs of our wives and children (not their carnal wants),
  • to others.
    • directly/personally or
    • indirectly/by proxy through (not to) an existing ministry. 
2 Corinthians 9:8: “God is able to make all grace (provisions) abound to you so that, in all things, at all times, (after) having all you need, you will abound (to others) in every redemptive work.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 16E10

Getting it Right About Giving to Resources

It is no more appropriate for church leaders to ask those it serves to support the financial needs of the church than it is for parents to ask children to support the financial needs of the home. Or, for God to ask his children to upkeep Heaven.

This means, Scriptural giving
  • flows from God through human resources as a service to hurting/broken persons to meet their redemptive needs,
  • is the service of leaders – of those God has healed and made competent for ministry to others (i.e., GIVING IS FOR LEADERS), and
  • (the support given) is received in humility by hurting persons who 1) have been called by God to the resources which give and who, in turn, out of the support they receive, 2) serve as conduits for the flow of support into the lives of those they are called to serve.
"To each one of us grace has been given... It was he who gave... so that the body of Christ may be built up... attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" - Ephesians 4:11-13.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C02

Growing in Response to God’s Resources

No, we are not called to support our resources. I grieve because of the burden ministries place on those they are called to serve - that, instead of serving them, they depend on them for their support.

Rather, we are called to connect to our resources, beginning with Christ who reveals to us
  • our brokenness and need for healing and
  • the availability and faithfulness of God’s resources through which his provisions flow into our lives to support our healing.
This means that, while support for God’s resources is not our responsibility, we, by merit of our experience of their support for us, grow in our appreciation/value/respect/ honor/awe of them, so that we,
  • first and foremost, increasingly give them an open-door opportunity for influence in our lives, but also
  • take reasonable care to protect them - not in the sense we fight for them, but that we do not destroy them ourselves (blow up the well, I call it), and
  • commend them to others (which is the meaning of the word “praise”).
“The elders who manage/invest well (provide support leadership) are to be highly valued, especially their preaching and teaching.” – 1 Timothy 5:17 (GracePoint paraphrased and amplified)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12C01

Giving to GracePoint Consistent with Grace Concepts

GracePoint does not charge for its services or ask for donations. Support comes mostly from the giving of its leadership. It comes also through members who have phased / are phasing through the program and are learning to give, not as payment for services or to express appreciation to God or GracePoint, but with hilarity (rejoicing) out of their healing and as one of the ways they live out God’s call for them to serve (invest in) others.  

(The Message of Grace is, we do not give in order to get healthy, but because we are healthy, and that Scriptural giving is an enabled service to others. To give otherwise is an example of performance-based Christianity or legalism.)
This service to (investment in) others may be direct from pocket. Or it may be through GracePoint as a proxy. Each person must come to his/her own conviction and peace about the matter.

(Using our testimony as an example, Carole and I invest in others, mostly through GracePoint. But we also give directly to individuals as God enables and guides us. Also, we don't insist on giving to GracePoint. Sometimes we think that, if we could discover another ministry that embraced the concepts of grace as we understand them, and which was better equipped, we would be motivated to pull up stakes and pour our support into that ministry.)

We have never worried about support. At the outset of this ministry on Easter Sunday 2002, we embraced the following promise to guide GracePoint's financial policy:

"God is able to make all grace (support) abound to you so that, in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good (redemptive) work." - 2 Corinthians 9:8  

Our budget is very small. But no purpose of God for GracePoint has ever been missed because of a lack of support. When the need has been present, so has the funds. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A19

Giving to Support Organizational Growth: The Membership Expectation of the Performance Church

Membership in the performance church is entered into through commitment (covenant) to give (time, talents, and especially tithes) – so that, if you are hurting and cannot give, you may attend but not have favor.

Contrasting that, membership in a grace renewal church is entered into through covenant to receive - the same as if you were entering a healthcare program. The program is not about what you can do for it (to increase its size or status), but what you will give it opportunity to do for you (to provide support for your healing). This is the meaning (in the organic context) of the Bible words "honor, submit, and obedience."

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12A10

Grace Giving: Support for Meeting Redemptive Needs, Not Payment for Goods or Services

Good people insist on making payment for the services provided by our counseling. That’s because, in the kingdoms of the world, payment for material goods and services is the normal, willing, and happy expression of moral health. Honesty and integrity can not tolerate theft or nonpayment.

However, in the Kingdom of God (the Body of Christ), the support (giving) of grace resources to meet the redemptive needs of others (the only Scriptural giving) is free, so cannot be purchased - or it's not a gift. It is the normal, willing, and happy expression of Christ living his Life/doing his work in and through us.

This means, giving does not flow from the served to the serving resource, but from the serving resource to the served. Jesus said he "did not come to be served, but to serve" (Matthew 20:28). 

Also, receiving support that meets our personal redemptive needs is the normal, willing, and happy expression of humility. Pride denies the need for redemption, resists/rejects/resents support offered for it, and insists, instead, on making payment as for material goods and services.

“You thought you could buy the gift of God with money!” (Acts 8:20)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 12B14

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