WRP4 is the formula that we use at Eastside to capture what we’re convinced produces completely committed followers of Jesus and leads us on the path to spiritual maturity. In this space, we’ve already rehearsed:
For September, we’re focusing on the last element in the WRP4 formula: Contributing. By Contributing, we mean those financial and material resources that Christians freely offer in order to do and maintain the work of Jesus’ church. And it’s important to understand how Contributing fits into the Gospel. It’s not just a cold, disconnected act that we do in order to fund the “church machine.” Contributing, as portrayed in the New Testament, is a concrete expression of the Gospel wherein the people of God freely give, even sacrifice, from themselves in order to benefit someone else. When the early church was laying its contributions at the apostles’ feet, “There was not a needy person among them ...” (Acts 4:34, ESV). This imitates the pattern of the Gospel: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). We give out of what we have so that in our giving, others might benefit and “grow rich.” Growing and maturing Christians contribute. And we want Eastside to be a Contributing church.
So, throughout the month of September, ask yourself: How am I contributing financially or materially to the church? Does my giving resemble the Gospel? Is it open-handed or tight-fisted? Am I restricted in my giving by something else that’s draining my financial resources but which is unnecessary to life and faith?