Q & A
What is First Fruit Giving?
The Bible is clear that everything we have ultimately belongs to God, but He trusts us to steward well everything He gives us. First fruit giving simply means we give to God our best, first. We don’t wait to see what, if anything is left over to give. It’s about making generosity a priority in our life. The Bible also teaches about offerings or financial giving even beyond the First Fruit gifts. We call this Kingdom Giving, when we give to specific opportunities that can help God’s Kingdom and influence expand.
Why do we talk about first fruit giving vs tithing?
- First fruit giving is a concept that reflects priority as well as, percentage. Based on scripture God deserves our first and our best. He modeled this by giving us His first, His only and His best in Jesus.
- Tithing is an Old Testament concept. Jesus came to fulfill the old law and take us all to new places that exceed the legalism and rules of the Old Testament.
- Jesus, Paul nor any other New Testament author commanded tithing.
- The New Testament offers us a great deal on the topic of generosity. It frees us from following strict laws as well as, freeing us to serve others out of gratitude, rather than guilt. The following scriptures reflect the very nature of God Himself
2 Corinthians 8:3 & 9:7 – Giving Voluntarily
Philippians 4:17 & 18 – Giving Generously
Mark 12:42 – Giving Sacrificially
2 Corinthians 9:7 – Giving Cheerfully
1 Corinthians 9:3 & Acts 20:35 – Giving to support local ministries and the poor
Where does the money go?
Everyone wants to feel confident in the organizations we give to financially. At Cross Timbers, we want everyone to understand that we are giving to God through the church, not to the church itself. There are multiple ways we try and communicate how our finances are stewarded:
- Through stories of life change that we share consistently at the “Giving” time during weekend services
- Every weekend we receive an offering as written by Paul in the New Testament – 1 Corinthians 16:1-4
- Through ministry initiatives
- We believe there is no greater investment we can make than an investment that goes to further the vision for Cross Timbers of which advances God’s Kingdom both locally and around the world