PHILOSOPHY OF GENEROSITY
AT BAY AREA COMMUNITY CHURCH
Becoming A Faithful Steward
At Bay Area, our passion is that each of us become disciples of Jesus. And we believe that you cannot be a mature
follower of Jesus if you do not steward your possessions for His glory. Ultimately, we don’t want something from you.
We want something for you. We want you to become a growing, maturing disciple of Jesus!
With that in mind, there are two foundational truths we embrace regarding faithful stewardship:
1. GOD OWNS IT. I STEWARD IT.
The Bible is very clear that
God is the owner
of everything you and I possess.
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.
Psalm 24:1 (NASB)
Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in
We will never get to the place of faithful stewardship, much less generosity, as long as we view ourselves as the
owner of our money. God owns it, but He has given us a responsibility. We are to steward what He gives. A steward is
a person who manages that which belongs to someone else. God calls each of us to steward and manage that which
He entrusts us with. And the key characteristic of a steward is faithfulness.
“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”
I Corinthians 4:2
Stewardship is never a matter of how much we have. The issue always involves what we do with what we have.
How are we to steward God’s money? All the principles we need to know about being a faithful steward are found in
His Word. In its simplest form, we can summarize the biblical plan for how to use God’s money as follows:
2. GIVE - SAVE - LIVE
It’s really that simple. Give first, save second, and live contently on the rest.
Many passages exhort and command us to give.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will
be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
When it comes to giving, we have found that most people fall into one of two categories: those who give first and live
on the rest, or those who live on what they make and
give from what is left over
God’s plan for using money involves the principle of “firstfruits.” Firstfruits giving understands the priority of honoring God
with the first of His provision. It requires faith and sacrifice.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled
with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Those who give first understand that when we respond by giving to Him first, He takes responsibility to meet our needs.
Because God owns it all and shoulders the responsibility of providing for those who financially honor Him, we can give
Giving God less than our best blocks the flow of His supernatural provision. Are you willing to take the faith step to begin
giving God the firstfruits of what He provides?
If so, that raises another question,
“HOW MUCH AM I TO GIVE?”
Here is a simple and recommended way we encourage you to apply faithful stewardship to the “Give - Save - Live on the rest”
principle. It’s the 10-10-80 rule. Simply stated, it goes like this. Every time you get paid,
• take the first 10 percent and devote it to the church and God’s work around the world,
• put 10 percent into your savings,
• discipline yourself to live on the remaining 80 percent.
How did we arrive at 10 percent for giving and saving? In the Old Testament, God instituted the “tithe.” Tithe literally means
“a tenth part.” The Jews were commanded to give the first 10 percent of all their earnings to the Lord. Actually, there were
three tithes - two given annually and one given every three years - that amounted to 23.3 percent yearly.
When we come to the New Testament, we see Paul teaching what has come to be known as “grace giving” (2 Corinthians 8-9).
Grace giving embraces the reality that we are now living in the age of grace and our giving is not connected to the sacrificial
system. Based on the teachings of the Old Testament regarding the tithe, and in light of the New Testament teaching on
voluntary grace giving, we encourage followers of Jesus who are beginning their journey of generosity to embrace the historic
Christian benchmark of giving 10 percent.
If 10 percent is too daunting because of current debt or over-extended financial obligations, then seek the Lord about what
percentage of your income He would have you start giving now. God wants you to move beyond an occasional or leftover
giver to an intentional percentage giver of your firstfruits.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also
reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under
compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Another question that is common is,
“HOW MUCH SHOULD I SAVE?”
We recommend 10 percent as a general amount that reflects faith and prudence. This means taking prayerful, intentional
steps to be wisely prepared. At the same time, we want to avoid a mindset of hoarding. Our heavenly Provider knows what
we need and wants us to trust Him with our future. Thus, we hold the faith of Matthew 6:31-34 in tension with the diligence
and prudence of Proverbs 6:6-11.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we
wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them
all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day
is its own trouble.
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she
prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber a little folding of the hands to rest, and
poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
Therefore, we honor God by giving first. Next, we set aside resources in savings for such things as retirement, a down-
payment on a home, college, transportation needs, unexpected circumstances and the like.
After giving and saving, we are to
live on the rest.
Living on the rest means living within our means, being content with what
we have, and waiting on the Lord’s provision. Specifically, living on the rest involves:
Providing for our family’s needs
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied
the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8
Paying off debts
The sad reality is that far too many believers, through mismanagement of God’s money, find themselves in the bondage of
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Many of us get into debt because money, rather than God, is our master. Our consumeristic lifestyle of self-indulgence, greed,
lack of contentment and patience all point to our true devotion.
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the
one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
We encourage you to fully surrender your finances to God, to avoid credit card debt, live on an affordable mortgage, and
commit to pay off personal debt as quickly as possible.
When we practice “Give - Save - Live on the Rest,” God protects and provides for us. We learn contentment and patience in
waiting on His timing.
Meeting some of your wants and desires
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty
of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:17 (NASB)
God wants us to enjoy the things He provides. But satisfying wants and desires are last on the list. They come after giving to
the church, saving for God’s financial goals, meeting basic family needs, and paying off indebtedness.
These are the basic principles of financial stewardship that we at Bay Area believe that every follower of Jesus should
GOD OWNS IT. I STEWARD IT.
GIVE - SAVE - LIVE ON THE REST.
Applying these principles will bring glory to God, cause you to mature as a disciple, and help you become a faithful steward of
your finances and possessions.