Why Do We Give?
Proverbs 3:9, "Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops…"
Jesus taught that our money is an indicator of our hearts and Paul taught that if we are loved by God and love Him in return we would give cheerfully, sacrificially, and regularly.
God is the owner of everything, including our money and possessions. When we give, we give back to God what He already owns. Our giving is an indication of trust, discipleship, and commitment. We believe that the minimum biblical standard for giving is 10%, commonly called a “tithe.”
The church offers periodic seminars on biblical money management and estate planning. These seminars provide in-depth study of what God’s word teaches about money. They also help in teaching money management principles both scripturally and practically. Jesus Christ had more to say about money than almost any other subject in the Bible.
How Does My Giving Support the Church?
First Baptist Church has made online giving available to those who are interested. Living debt-free is a worthy goal for all Christians. Online giving does involve the use of credit and debit transactions and makes no distinction between the two. Every giver should exercise diligence in using credit cards for giving. We offer this option only as a convenience and not as a way to circumvent sound biblical money management principles or incur debt. Online giving also allows for electronic funds transfer (EFT). Giving options include the weekly offering in the worship service, mailing contributions to the finance office, and online payment.
When giving online, you can set up giving on a one-time, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.
Creative Ways to Give
Our church is abundantly blessed! As God has been at work in the lives of our people in the area of financial stewardship, many have asked for more specific guidance on how to give to the church. The following are some creative ways to give.
Gifts of Cash
Nothing is as simple and direct as giving cash. You can make a general donation, which we direct toward our annual ministry plan (formerly budget) or designate a large gift for a specific purpose such as debt retirement. However, you aren't limited to giving cash. In fact your tax benefits may be greater if you donate other property, such as assets that have appreciated in value.
Gifts of Securities
Stocks or other investments that have grown in value and that you have held for more than one year can become a substantial gift made at a low net cost to you. You receive a charitable deduction for the donation of these assets, and it's based on their fair market value on the date of the gift. But there's a bonus—you avoid all federal capital gains tax that would otherwise be due on a sale of the assets, as long as the stock is transferred to the church prior to sale. You may even tithe with stock all year and take your cash normally used for tithing and develop a stock portfolio just for future tithing and special giving to God’s work.
Or, you may take a capital loss yourself. If you own securities worth less now than when you purchased them, sell them and contribute the proceeds. Then you can take a capital loss on your tax return, subject to certain limitations, and a charitable deduction for the gift of the proceeds.
The church has its own brokerage account and all transactions can be accommodated electronically, without actual stock certificates changing hands.
Gifts of Real Estate
At this time we are not prepared to accept gifts of real estate.
Gifts of Life Insurance
As you review your year-end financial status, remember that a no-longer-needed life insurance policy is a viable gift. Policies that are paid up may be deductible as gifts for their approximate replacement value. Policies that still require premiums to be paid can be given while you continue to pay the premiums, prompting income tax deductions when the church is named both owner and beneficiary. A new policy on your life naming the church as beneficiary guarantees the church a future gift as well, depending on state law.
Gifts That Provide Income for Life
Many givers find themselves in a position of holding assets that would make beautiful gifts at some time in the future but are currently required to provide for present needs. By placing such property into a charitable remainder trust, a unique gift arrangement can be made that would provide income for a donor and/or a donor's beneficiary. At the end of a specified period (such as the donor's or the beneficiary's lifetime, or a term of 20 years), the remainder of the trust assets would be given to the church.
Charitable remainder trusts are funded with assets you contribute, such as securities, appreciated property, or cash. Once placed in trust, the assets can be sold (avoiding capital gains tax) and the proceeds reinvested to produce a higher yield for the donor and/or other beneficiaries. Such an arrangement creates an immediate income tax deduction (based on such factors as the beneficiary's age and the amount of annual income). When you fund the trust with highly appreciated assets, there is no recognition of capital gains. The trust allows personal needs to be met, and it provides a wonderful gift for the church.
Questions or comments? Contact us.
First Baptist Church of Ocala
2801 SE Maricamp Rd.
Ocala, FL 34471