By Dietrich Gruen
Several worthy causes vie for where we spend our hard-earned dollars at the end of the year. Toys and travel factor into giving to our families. Charities compete for our attention; we get hit from every angle. From the sound of Salvation Army bells to the clamor of other organizations—at checkout lines, on the phone, in our email inboxes and mailboxes—the ask is ever-present, inescapable. At our favorite stores and restaurants, some worthy cause may also lure us in. And don’t forget the civil servants, housekeepers, news carriers and office staff who serve us so faithfully all year—many of us want to tip them, too.
Somehow, the pervasive marketing and giving strategies seem to work, despite being tiresome, routine and competitive. Given this competition for year-end gifts, why would you give to the gift for High Point Church?
What if we could fund special projects on the global, national and local fronts not in the annual HPC budget? We could support projects such as:
- Christmas offerings to all our supported missionaries and staff
- Local ministry opportunities such as Care Net (crisis pregnancy center), Nehemiah Project (local leadership development), and Lighthouse Church (clothing for kids)
- Internal projects like upgrades to High Point Church’s sound system and seed money for home-grown missionaries
- Global initiatives in South Asia (Bible school & Bible distribution) and in Europe (with refugees)
In order to fund these projects we count on the kind of giving that Paul commends of all churches in 2 Corinthians 8-9.
Rather than offer multiple options—each competing with the others—we aggregate all worthy requests and needs into one year-end gift to be divided up at the discretion of our elected elders. This makes giving simple. But simple or simplified giving doesn’t mean simplistic.
To simplify is to get rid of superfluous details, to remove nonessentials, to reduce clutter. We simplify so that we can hear and easily act. We could each give to a myriad of causes, but that requires listening to and sorting through that many appeals. We then find ourselves saying yes more and more just to keep pace and keep everyone happy. With the High Point Church year-end gift, our goal is to eliminate the multiplicity of options in exchange for one simple option. This way, you can consolidate your year-end giving for maximum impact, and leave the decision-making to our trusted elders who have prioritized several worthy projects. Learn more about these projects here.
Why we give: contentment
Our consumer-based society has made us think that happiness lies in having more things; but true joy and contentment, the Bible tells us (Acts 20:35; Philippians 4:11-12; Luke 12:15, 33-34), lies in giving and not receiving, in going without and living with less, so that circumstances and dependencies do not control us.
For example, voluntary simplicity might look like going to fewer places rather than making all the rounds to parties and stores during the holiday season, learning the difference between wants and needs, requiring and acquiring less, and freeing up time and energy for people instead of things. You’ve heard it said, I’m sure: less is more. Really. I can’t believe I am saying that, as this collector of stuff for decades has just this year begun to practice what I preach. With more possessions in this world, we must always be vigilant against worldliness. This contentment frees us to give sacrificially of our time and our resources to the things that matter in the kingdom of God. This year-end gift will influence many global and local organizations that are advancing the kingdom on this earth.
The year-end gift is just another way to practice sacrificial generosity. We’re called to give proportionally, sacrificially and joyfully, and make it a rhythm in our schedules. In my case, I already make monthly auto-payments to HPC, but I still make out an extra check in December and seal it with prayer. Whatever your habit, may you experience the blessing of giving now and throughout the New Year.
You can give to the year-end gift through the end of the year by designating your online or Sunday morning giving to the year-end gift.