Whether we give to our local church fellowship, to the needy around us or to global missions, take the time and make sure the work that you are giving to is as it is represented.
Some simple recommendations to consider.
Be in Prayer
Spend time with the Lord. Seek His counsel on matters of giving.
Contact the Organization
Ask for financial documents like Financial Reports & Audits. Almost all organizations have these and are willing to share them with you. It is helpful if there is a good track record over time and clear accountability of what was done with donations with respect to what donors have given to.
Trust but Verify
- Ask other Christians if they have ever heard of this organization.
- Do a search for the organization in your favorite search engine. Be sure to check the results that appear “after” the first page. Look at the second, third and fourth pages too. (see an example of results)
- *Sometimes ministries or people with issues go through great financial lengths to get “undesirable” results obscured by the first page of results. Marketing companies are hired to help “push down” the results that occur on pages after the first page. This usually results in much manpower and finances spent in trying to “make things look good” for the first page of results.
- Ask if there are other churches they partner with.
- Ask about how they go about ministry.
- Look for consistant characteristics of integrity in how the ministry handles itself over time.
- See if the ministry works with other local and national ministries. Are they working to help other ministries, both in deed and dollar, or just looking out for their own financial gain?
- Do they willingly share who is on their Board of Directors?
Call the Organization
You can sometimes get a better sense of an organization via phone conversation.
Ask for references. example: Are they a member of the ECFA or other accountability groups?
Using Wisdom in Giving / Study Scripture
It is the Lord who blesses us to be able to give.
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Giving to Your Local Fellowship
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
Giving to the Needy
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
Giving to Global Missions
…for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Like the parable of the talents, we can honor the Lord with wise investments with the things the Lord has entrusted us with.
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.
Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.
But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’