As this year rapidly draws to a close, we are encouraging our entire Crossroads' family to ELEVATE & AUTOMATE in the new year. In fact, don’t wait until January 1 gets here. Do it now.
What do we mean by ELEVATE & AUTOMATE? Let me begin with AUTOMATE. For quite some time now, we’ve been encouraging you and all of our Crossroads’ family to try online giving. Why? It's simple and, it's better stewardship – for you and for Crossroads. A large number of us receive our paychecks via direct deposit and pay the majority of our bills online. In fact, we’ve been doing it for a long time. It eliminates the need for checks, envelopes, postage, and time. Even though I’ve been getting my paycheck via direct deposit for quite some time, I was among the last to begin paying my bills online. I’ve always been a person who likes to write my own checks, pay my own bills, etc., because I wanted to make sure they got paid. Now, I pay 99 percent of my bills online and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.
Paying bills online is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Giving online is too! Every financial institution I know of provides for online giving. It's simple to set up and the end of the year is the perfect time to do it. All you need to do is go online to your financial institution, go to the secure page and select the tab for paying bills. It will allow you to select merchant accounts. All you have to do is set up a merchant account for Crossroads Christian Church. Put the address in: 6450 S. State Hwy 360, Grand Prairie, TX 75052. Put the phone number in (817) 557-2277.
Next, select the amount. Hopefully, you’ve already been faithfully tithing. If not, this is a terrific time to start. Calculate 10 percent of your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paycheck. Then, add an offering to it. For example, if your weekly paycheck is $500, a tithe would be $50. Anything above that is an offering. You might want to give another $5 as an offering. So you would enter $55.00 in the line for the amount. Then, you can select the number of times you want to give. I always select 52 weeks so I am covered for the entire year. (Note: you can change the amount or number of times you want to give at any time through your financial institution.)
Once you’ve entered all the information, you will be shown everything you’ve entered to make sure it’s correct before you finalize the transaction. Once you approve it, you will be all set for online giving for the entire year. This is the ONLY AREA of our Christian life we can make automatic. Once you do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
As soon as you get your online giving set up, I’d also recommend you AUTOMATE your savings. Why? It's simple and it's good stewardship. You can do it through your local bank or financial institution. I do ours through The Solomon Foundation. Why? Because they pay the highest rates in the industry. Based in Denver, Colorado, The Solomon Foundation is the fastest growing Christian financial institution and one of the largest in the U.S. You can call them toll free (855-873-5873) and ask how you can set up an account and have funds transferred electronically every week via ACH/EFT. What that means is The Solomon Foundation can set it up with your financial institution, where funds can be transferred every week to an account at The Solomon Foundation without your doing anything. You won’t have to write a check, spend money on an envelope or stamp, etc. It happens automatically; and whether the amount is $5, $50 or more, each week, you can build a sizable savings each year and do it automatically. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Dishonest money dwindles away,but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
We’re encouraging all of our people to AUTOMATE both your giving and saving, by doing it online through your own financial institution.
We're also encouraging all of our people to ELEVATE their giving in 2014. What do we mean by that? Everyone would like to elevate their standard of living. But few take time to consider elevating their standard of "giving." We’re encouraging all our people to prayerfully consider that during these final days of December. If you haven’t been tithing, that’s obviously the place to start. If you are already a tither, consider increasing what you give as an offering (above your tithe) each week. If you haven’t been giving to WE STILL BELIEVE, (the fund for our teenagers and their new youth building), consider giving something each week. If you have already been giving, consider increasing that.
With more of our people giving online and fewer carrying cash or a checkbook, one of the things we will be doing in the new year will be having giving boxes in our auditorium rather than passing offering bags at every service. You will always have the opportunity to give at every service by placing your tithe/offering in one of the secure giving boxes conveniently located in our main auditorium. You will be able to do that privately and quietly as you enter for worship, every time you come.
Giving boxes are actually very biblical.
Mark 12:41-44 says, “And he (JESUS) sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’”
Luke 21:1, “Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box ...”
Giving boxes will allow people to give privately, quietly and worshipfully, eliminating any potential embarrassment online givers may have. Passing an offering bag to others without placing something in the bag when, in fact, you have already given could be embarrassing and, at the very least, uncomfortable.
Giving is an act of worship, whether online or in person. After setting up your own giving and saving online, you may still want to give something when you come to worship. I do that, every week.
I’m encouraging our entire Crossroads’ family to ELEVATE & AUTOMATE when it comes to our giving and saving in 2014, and watch what God does in all of our lives and in our ministry here.
What's the MOTIVATION?
2 Corinthians 9:11, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (NIV/1984).
© 2013. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.