Giving to support the work of spreading the gospel and preaching God’s Word is a practical act of discipleship and an exercise of faith. But where should you give, and to whom should you give?
Unlike giving under the Old Covenant, which had very specific rules, percentages, and timelines, New Testament giving is much freer, mainly depending on motive, and offering a few general principles.
One such principle is the one mentioned by Paul:
Let the one who is taught the word share all his good things with the teacher (Galatians 6:6).
Share with your teacher. Or, you might say, give where you’re fed.
For most people, that means giving to your local church. That’s where you’re taught through the weekly sermon, Sunday school, and discipleship groups. Hence, the backbone of your giving will probably go toward your local church.
But many times, people go to churches where they’re underfed or maybe not fed at all. Instead, they’re spitting out more bones than what they can swallow. Or they’re being fed milk instead of meat.
Other believers don’t have a local church to attend because there are no grace-teaching churches in their area. In a perfect world that wouldn’t happen, but it does.
And so, for a variety of reasons, you might be fed by other ministries outside the local church—writers, speakers, podcasters, publishers—who teach you the Word and help you to grow. And if that’s the case, then it’s right to support those teachers financially. Not because you have to, or because you’re forced to, or because the gospel comes at a price, but because you’re grateful that they’ve shared the word with you, so you share your good things with them.
It's good to give where you’re fed.
Thought for the day: If a teacher is feeding you with the gospel, avoid dining and dashing.