As I reflect on this past year, the word that stands out for 2018 is “provision.” Despite the highs and lows, here we are in December, at the close of the year. Likewise, I want my giving to be an integral part of commemorating God’s blessings to me for the year. If my heart is grounded, then year-end giving should be a most natural part of my season.
With Christmas in the rearview mirror, it’s a great time to take advantage of the last few days of the year to send our money where it will make the most impact: in the developing word. Giving turns my heart outwards, away from selfishness, and towards heavenly things.
The problem is that we get so busy, we end up not doing our year-end giving well. So here’s my proposition for how to our minds in the right framework.
Make time to prayerfully consider which ministries to give to.
A few things to consider: what are the greatest needs in the world? Where will my dollar make the biggest impact? Are there causes that are personal to me? When thinking about the organizations that you want to give to before year-end, consider where God is calling you to invest.
Think outside the box and identify the wisest ways to give, outside of a cash donation.
While filling out credit card information in an online form is a quick, convenient way to give, it’s definitely not the only! Consider the following options as you’re planning out your year-end giving.
- Donor Advised Funds – A DAF works like a charitable checking account and allows you to make deposits in the form of cash, stocks and assets such as real estate and business interests. At year’s end, you receive one simple report to print for your tax filings. No more hunting down account passwords and downloading PDFs! DAF accounts such as National Christian Foundation, Fidelity Charitable Fund, and Schwab Charitable all support donations to FH.
- Planned Giving – Help to end poverty with your wills, trusts, business interests, gift annuities, and/or retirement plans. If you want to create a lasting legacy, we’d be honored to walk alongside you to plan the best route forward.
- Cars to Charity – The donation of your unwanted car, truck, RV, or other vehicle could provide life-changing resources for vulnerable families.
Challenge yourself in your giving.
In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus is sitting with his disciples when he witnesses a bold act of faith from a widow at the temple. This is what the passage reads:
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
In the story of the widow, although she only had two small copper coins, she trusted God to provide for her every need. She didn’t know where her next meal would come from, but she was faithful in her giving. She didn’t give a surplus or a year-end bonus as an act of generosity. She did the opposite: she gave all that she had as an act of dependence and worship to God.
We have a lot to learn from this widow. Even the cheapest item in the FH gift catalog, a $4 mosquito net, goes towards protecting a child living in the Democratic Republic of Congo against malaria.
We can all probably spare $4–the price of a morning latte. But, I want to challenge you today to stretch a little. I want to challenge you to commit to helping those in poverty for the long-run, contributing to thriving communities that are self-sustainable, by sponsoring a child. From the cocoa fields of Mozambique all the way over to the rainy Philippines, children in poverty are waiting this season for someone like you to be their sponsor. For only $38 a month, you can supply their basic needs (food, education, clean water, medical care). Most of all, you can provide them access to Biblical teachings and hope through your 1:1 relationship.
Finances are never an easy topic–but as Christians we know that all our finances come from the Lord. He gives and takes away, and we are merely stewards of them. This year and in 2019, we have the choice and the privilege to spend our money in ways that glorify God and serve the most vulnerable.
Learn more about sponsoring a child today.
Other recommended articles:
I Was A Child Sponsorship Skeptic
Why Participation Is Not the End Goal of Development
Across the Globe, Gratitude and Giving Go Hand in Hand