Why have Gift Days?
St Francis of Assisi is famously credited with having said:
“I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere I go and sometimes I use words”
The church is meant to spend as much time as possible talking about Jesus, being Jesus to their community and becoming more like Jesus in its character. However, if you ask the world about the church they will often think that the church is just about asking them for money.
Why on earth then do churches have gift days?
Well at Jubilee we have two gift days a year with three specific aims:
- To challenge the stronghold of money and possessions in our lives. Jesus spoke about money more than any other subject and he did so because he knew that money could so easily become our stronghold. A stronghold was a place of security and safety. God is meant to be our stronghold and yet we can so easily replace the security of the God of the universe with the latest gadget or investment. In a world driven by marketing we are constantly being encouraged to put our faith in the latest fashion or fad. We have gift days twice a year to give us all a regular opportunity to check our hearts. To check that we are worshipping God with our financial resource and to check that our finances have not replaced God as our rock of security. (Read the REGULAR GIVING REVIEW blog for more thoughts and encouragements on this).
- To display the generosity of God. The gift of Jesus that we will celebrate at Christmas in a few weeks’ time is the greatest act of generosity ever seen. For God so loved the world he GAVE his one and only son. In response to a generous God we want to grow in generosity as a church family. Gift days make us exercise the muscle of generosity. We encourage one another to be generous in our attitude and we love to give away as part of our gift days. This time we will be giving away the gift aid from our gift day to bless our work with the poor in Zambia through the provision of a truck and we will be giving to Tearfund to help them continue their work with refugees who have lost everything due to the turmoil in Syria.
- To dent the debt. Jubilee Community Centre is a key part of our call to be a blessing to our local community. A £4 million project to convert an empty warehouse to a vital community hub for East Grinstead and beyond. We have already paid off nearly £3 million of that project and the centre is now serving an average of 3000 people each week. Our heart is to be debt free so that we can give away more as part of our kingdom calling. Our goal is to pay off £100,000 of capital each year for the next 5 years and our gift days play a vital part in denting that debt.