NorthBridge Leadership Statement on Electronic Giving
We realize that giving tithes and offerings electronically within the church building is uncommon. So we’ve not taken this matter lightly. After considerable prayer, research and discussion, here is the conviction of the NorthBridge pastors and Leadership Team on this issue.
Practicing good stewardship of our whole life, including our finances, is a foundational discipline to be developed by every follower of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that a tithe (the first 10% of our income) is the baseline for offerings that are to be given to God, through the church, to advance His kingdom’s work, to develop the generous heart of God in us, and to help us escape the bondage of greed that blocks God’s work in us.
The Bible does not identify a single method of giving to be held as sacred or important to God. In fact the Bible consistently teaches that what God cares about is our obedience and motive, not form or ritual.
Throughout church history offerings have been given in a variety of forms. From Bible days to just a few hundred years ago, livestock and crops were as likely to be given as gold or silver or other currency. In relatively recent history writing bank drafts or “checks” became a primary way for consumers pay for things and the church reluctantly began accepting them as offerings as well.
A large and growing number of people today do not use checks and carry very little cash. Instead they use electronic methods like online payment services and bank cards. Studies show that the typical young adult today seldom writes a check but 90% of adults under 35 use a debit card.
The church has an obligation to teach and to make available practical ways for individuals to practice financial stewardship as a part of their regular worship and discipleship. Making provisions for electronic giving is simply one of those practical ways that the church can help people today to practice giving tithes and offerings.
The convenience of paying electronically using of a credit card has made an abundance of “easy credit” available. The Bible warns of the dangers of accumulating debt. The only time using a credit card is appropriate for giving an offering is when the balance on that card is paid in full every month. Debit cards are more appropriate and highly recommended. A PERSON SHOULD NEVER ADD TO THEIR CREDIT CARD DEBT WITH TITHES AND OFFERINGS!
Giving through Online Portal and Onsite Kiosk
Our in-house Giving Kiosk located in the Worship Center and our online giving portal allow individuals to give tithes and offerings electronically using their bank card. Anyone may give an offering or pay for an event or resource using the kiosk or the website by simply following the online instructions. Below are a few important points regarding your online gift.
- All transactions are processed using the same type of highly secure merchant processing services used by retailers and payment centers worldwide.
- This Kiosk itself contains no individual information. It is an online terminal only and simply connects users to a secure off-site merchant processing server via the internet.
- The online giving section of the church website and the onsite Giving Kiosk utilize the same secure processing system and database. Registering on either one provides access to both.
- No individual bank or credit information is stored. The only information the church keeps is basic contact information and the amounts given.
- Users also have the option of giving anonymously.
- At the end of each year the church provides donors a complete record of their gifts given during the year. This includes all gifts given through the kiosk and the church website (unless users have elected to give anonymously.)
- The church pays a small fee for processing electronic gifts. If you normally use checks or cash for payments please continue to use that form of giving. The cost to the church of processing payments made with debit cards is significantly less than processing credit card payments. So using a debit card instead of a credit card increases the value of your gift by saving the church money.
- Debit Cards are preferred. NorthBridge Church discourages the use of credit cards unless the balance is paid in full each month. A PERSON SHOULD NEVER ADD TO THEIR CREDIT CARD DEBT WITH TITHES AND OFFERINGS!