What is a pledge? Why not just give through the plate when I can?
A pledge is simply an estimate of what you expect to give to the church to support its mission and ministry in the year to come, thereby enabling us to plan our budge. On a personal level, pledging helps transform our giving into a spiritual practice because it becomes something you do regularly just like worship or prayer. By transforming our giving in a commitment, we reinforce for ourselves that God is a priority in our life which helps us to grow closer to God.
How much should I pledge? What is the tithe?
The ‘tithe’ is best understood in the context of giving from our ‘first fruits,’ which is to give from our income - first in, first out - rather than from what’s left over. When we give what we can ‘afford to’ after we’ve met all of our other spending priorities in our life, we are putting God behind Netflix subscriptions, behind Starbucks, behind that European cruise, behind that big screen TV we’ve had our eye on, or a new Mustang, etc. One standard that Christians have used for giving from our ‘first fruits’ is the tithe - giving 10% of our income right off the top. If you don’t feel ready for that level of giving, start with a lower percentage, say 4% or 5% for example, and work toward increasing it 1% each year until you’ve reached the tithe - and then keep going!
Is the “tithe” 10% of Net or Gross income?
Don’t get hung up on legalistic rules. At its heart, the tithe is not an accounting exercise, it is a spiritual practice to teach us to put God first in our life. By giving away the first 10% of our income, we remind ourselves that it’s not ours to begin with and that God comes first. If that all sounds too philosophical, try this: start by giving away 10% of your after tax income (net), and then, once you’ve reached that, stretch yourself to give away 10% of your gross income. God is less interested in your math, than in your prayerful, intentionality about putting him first in your life.
St. Bart’s seems like a big place - does my pledge really make a difference?
Absolutely! St. Bart’s relies almost entirely on the weekly offering to support its programs, ministries and mission in the community and beyond. In fact, 85% of our operating income comes from the weekly offering. We’d don’t have a large endowment that funds our mission. Like your family, our church family relies on all of us playing a role.
Contact the Rev. Chris Harris, (858) 487-2159, with questions about pledging.
Every pledge matters, every pledge counts.
Pledge online today!
Want to print out a pledge card? You can download one here.