There’s a reason for everything we do. Actually there are multiple reasons for each thing we do. There is at least the reason we have in our head and then there is the reason God intends for everything we do. God’s reason is usually bigger than our own.
Take giving for instance. There could be many reasons we are motivated to give. Being obedient to God’s word, that teaches giving, can be a great motivator. The joy we feel in being generous can be a strong motivator. The promise of God’s blessing when we’re generous can be a powerful motivator. But notice how each of those can be considered selfish. Expecting to feel satisfied by our obedience is a self-centered motivation. Expecting to experience joy is a self-centered motivation. Expecting to receive blessings is probably the most self-centered motivation. I’m not saying any of these are bad reasons. They’re just not sufficient without God’s reasons, which we might not know on this side of eternity.
The question I want to ask is this: Would we still be willing to give back to God if there was no selfish hope of satisfaction, joy, or blessing? That is impossible to answer because we don’t know what that’s like. God allows us to experience satisfaction, joy, and blessings without fail whether we expect those experiences or not – because we can’t outgive God.
All that being said I just want to be very real about three of the top reasons we DON’T give to our home church, NewSpring Church, and then three of the top reasons we DO give to NewSpring Church.
Top 3 Reasons We DON’T Give to NewSpring Church
Don’t misunderstand – we DO give to NewSpring Church, but there are reasons we DO give and there are reasons we DON’T. Here are the non-reasons we give:
- Perry Noble – the pastor. He’s cool and all but he sucks just like the rest of us. God uses him to speak, but he’s just a man. I like to see him be transparent so we know he’s growing and maturing in Christ just like the rest of us. But regardless of how he’s doing my family doesn’t give to NewSpring Church just because Perry says so. I understand leadership and respect it, and trust that Perry and other pastors are good leaders. But giving to any church just because a pastor says so is a terrible reason to give. Giving to anything because of the influence of man is so short sighted.
- Pretty buildings – a bunch of them. NewSpring Church has lots of pretty buildings with lots of cool stuff inside. I know buildings are necessary and having nice ones makes everyone comfortable. I gave to the last building campaign and I’ll give to the current one. But my family does not give to NewSpring Church in order to see pretty buildings erected. It doesn’t matter how awesome those buildings are they are as temporary as Perry and all the rest of us.
- Fancy Shows – every Sunday and Wednesday. No one puts on a better church worship experience than NewSpring Church, and it happens several times in several places on Sundays, and again for youth on Wednesdays. The preparation that goes into having an excellent experience at NewSpring Church is monumental – from the music and teaching to the parking and care. But my family does not give to NewSpring Church in order to see fancy shows. How worship is done now will probably be a laughable fad 50-100 years from now.
Am I saying that Perry, pretty buildings, and fancy shows are not important? No – those things have a purpose. Am I saying that giving to fund those things is not important? No – as long as those things are not the reason for giving to those things.
Top 3 Reasons We DO Give to NewSpring Church
You’ve gotta be getting the point by now. The right reason for giving is not to impress or please man in any way – it’s to see God move in every way. My family believes in the work God does through NewSpring Church, and we’re honored to be a part of it. It’s not about NewSpring – it could be any church we feel God is moving in. But at least for now and the past 11 years it’s NewSpring.
We give to obey and glorify God, and to see Him move. I can’t think of any move of God more near and dear to our hearts than the salvation and baptism of our three children. Like it’s said all the time at NewSpring – you can’t outgive God. Here are our top 3 completely selfish yet God centered motivations for giving to NewSpring Church, where we see God moving in our family:
- Devin Asbell – accepted Christ and soon after was baptized in May of 2010.
- Skyler Asbell – accepted Christ and after much worry and hesitation was baptized in April of 2014.
- Kylee Asbell – accepted Christ and soon after was baptized in May of 2014.
All three of our kids have accepted Christ at home, with us, but while our entire family was attending and being ministered to at NewSpring Church – where God uses broken people, in worthless buildings, with passing-fad experiences to draw the lost to Him. Then there’s the whole ‘found people find people’ thing – imagine how much impact God could have through those three little people. I know these things can sound cliche’, but they’re just true.
It can be considered completely selfish motivation for me to give to NewSpring Church because of these experiences with my kids. Got me – I’m guilty of experiencing overwhelming satisfaction, joy, and blessing from seeing my kids as well as thousands of other people take steps to follow Christ. Would I have been willing to give without the hope of experiencing that selfish satisfaction, joy, and blessing? It’s impossible to imagine that, but you have to try it to believe it. God’s reason for our giving might be bigger than we can even fathom.