Foundation for Giving
Prepare to hear something radical, giving is actually one of the greatest joys of the Christian walk. By giving, you are allowing the church to touch countless lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ. More importantly, your giving is an act of worship! Giving expresses your gratitude that God has provided everything, and you trust that He will continue to provide. Giving back to God is a proclamation that Christ gave the ultimate gift to you by dying on the cross. Your giving provides for Christ’s mission to make more and better disciples. While giving generously is a sacrifice, it will also become a joy here on earth, and make an eternal impact (2 Corinthians 9:6–15)! Thank you for believing in the vision and ministry of epikos by giving. We do not receive any financial support from a religious or denominational body. All epikos ministries are 100% funded by people like you.
Give, Not Guilt
When we talk about giving, there is one word you will never hear—guilt. There’s no room for guilt in a heart that’s grateful and alive in Christ. But we do encourage giving as an important part of growing your faith—just like reading your bible, developing your prayer life, and joining a small group. When done with a cheerful, humble heart, giving radically shifts your thinking and heart from a sense of burden and deprivation to the amazing privilege of building God’s kingdom here and eternally.
The Journey from Giving to Tithing to Generosity
On the Christian journey to generosity, you start by giving…nothing, zero, zip, zilch. When the offering plate comes by, you pass it along. But a time comes when you decide to give—maybe hesitantly or reluctantly. But the spark of a generous spirit was lit with your first offering. And the Holy Spirit fans that spark with each financial gift. If this is where you are on your journey, we’re thankful for your gifts. But don’t settle for half-hearted giving. In our money crazed culture, many Christians unfortunately settle for this, giving a few dollars here and there, giving enough to not feel too guilty, but still hanging on to as much as they can. On the road to generosity, you learn that giving isn’t about “how much,” but about “how willing.” How willing are you to let God open your heart to the joy of generous giving?
The journey to generosity includes a stop at the intersection of giving and tithing. Tithing is one of those church words that you hear, but often don’t know what it means or where it came from. The word tithe is translated from the Hebrew word Ma`aser and goes all the way back to the first book of the Bible. Its basic meaning is tenth, tenth part, or payment of tenth part. Tithing is the discipline and act of worship by giving to the Lord at least 10% of your income. This is done to honor God for all of His provision for us and to remind us that He is the ultimate giver (Leviticus 27:30). Tithing was commanded by God, not just suggested or a thing that some people did (Malachi 3:8–10). While tithing isn’t talked about as much in the New Testament, Jesus does affirm it when it’s done with the proper heart motivation (Matthew 23:23). Giving 10% of your income can seem like a significant contribution, and it is. If tithing is a new part of your journey to generosity, it requires sacrifice and prayerful planning on how to spend your income. Tithing is sometimes the answer to, “How much should I give?” But you may unintentionally think tithing means 10% is God’s and 90% is yours. And as long as you give 10% of your paycheck you’re all good. This can be a legalistic approach to giving. However, when done with a willing heart, tithing is a joyful way to honor God with your financial gifts and not just a routine.
The New Testament speaks less about tithing because there’s a greater emphasis on generosity. Jesus and those in the early church went beyond giving a set amount (tithing) to living with a generous spirit—sometimes giving everything they had for the sake of building Christ’s church (Acts 2:44–45)! The early believers’ lives were so dramatically changed by Christ’s sacrificial love that they responded by generously giving all they could to encourage fellow Christians. That kind of generosity of finances and resources helped spread the gospel to unbelievers day by day, and it continues today. Amazing things happen when you give generously—your heart aligns with God’s spirit of generosity, the hidden power of greed and materialism is broken, financial gifts fuel ministries that spread the gospel, and a giving spirit encourages others to be generous. Above all, it is the hope and prayer of epikos that God is glorified in all we give (2 Corinthians 9:6–15).
How To Give
There are three ways to give: online, by text, or by envelope. With secure online giving, you can give a one-time gift or set up recurring weekly or monthly giving. Many people find online giving a faithful and consistent way to give. To give via text, just text “epikosEast”, “epikosNorth”, or “epikosWest” – whichever is most appropriate for the campus you attend – to 77977. (Standard text and message rates may apply.) Finally, our Sunday services include a time to give an offering in an envelope as part of worship. You may also mail a check to our office: 2308 E Belleview Pl., Milwaukee, WI 53211. However you choose to give, we are grateful for your generosity!
Stewardship & Accountability
It is a great responsibility to steward your gifts in a God-honoring, kingdom-furthering way. We do everything possible to properly manage the financial resources that God has entrusted to us. We use weekly protocols and strict standards to record all donations. Our financial records are overseen by a CPA at the independent accounting firm, Ritz Holman, LLP, in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. We also send out quarterly and year-end statements that confirm your gifts were received and accounted for. When you give back to God through epikos church, you can trust that your money is handled responsibly.