Money. Once a church starts talking about it, it must be code for “Building Fund”, right?
Not necessarily. We talk about money because God talks about money – specifically how our handling of money reflects our heart and our values. (Matthew 6:21, for example.) So, whether you’re a long-time member of the Vineyard, or just checking us out for the first time, we want you know just what those values are. It’s way more than just “Be a good Christian and follow the rules.”
Freedom is important!
Simply put, we want all of our members to experience financial freedom. It’s easy to see that someone spending their way into a mountain of debt is in bondage — But so is the person without a plan for their future, even if they don’t feel like they’re in a crisis.
As part of our Small Groups, we offer Financial Peace University once a year. It’s a 9-week course designed to create new habits in how you handle your money. We want our people to get off the paycheck-to-paycheck treadmill, set long-term financial goals, and learn “God’s & Grandma’s ways” of using the resources God gives us. FPU is a key first step that has changed the lives of many in our church. In the last 7 years, we’ve seen our folks pay off over $600,000 in debt!
Generosity is important.
Yeah, big shocker, a church saying that generosity is important, right? Well, stereotypes of Televangelists aside, the Bible does teach that giving is important. It’s not a salvation issue, it’s about being obedient as His disciples. God loves you (and we love you), period. But He does call us to be givers, because it teaches us to be a generous people, and a generous people understand how to love those around them well.
It’s easy to get legalistic here, and we don’t want to do that. In Genesis, God gives us the example of the tithe (10%) as a standard for our personal giving. It’s easy to work ourselves into legalistic knots over whether it’s 10% of gross, or 10% of net, and “What if I’m off by half a percent” – but doing that misses the point. In the New Testament, the language changes from percentage to participation. It becomes less about the math, and more about the mission. God’s instruction is to give, because that act of generosity changes us!
See, we’re really just managers of what God has given to us. God owns all of it, we are just entrusted with it for a short time. As the money passes through our hands, it’s up to us to make wise decisions on where it goes. We believe that same principle applies to both our personal finances and the church’s finances.
We are a church that is 100% financially supported by our members. We don’t have a nameless benefactor or big denomination’s checkbook backing us up, we have something far better: A group of people who love God, love others, and show that in the way they support their church. We’re thankful for every one of our folks, and we feel a great responsibility to be good stewards of the resources God provides through the generosity of our people.
Here at the Vineyard we believe that most people want to be generous. But for many of us what stands in our way is simply the knowledge of how. “Do I have to write a check?” “Where do I drop off my gift?” “What if I don’t have cash or a check on me?”
We “pass the plate” every Sunday morning. You can give by cash or check, and we have an offering envelope handy. If you happen to miss the offering basket, we have a box at the info table where you can drop your gift.
If you’d like to put the postal service to work for you, you can send your check gift to our office:
6028 Shallowford Rd
Chattanooga, TN 37421
If your bank offers a BillPay service through its Online Banking, you can set up the Vineyard as a payee. You’ll need to provide this account info:
Payee: Vineyard Chattanooga
Address: 6028 Shallowford Rd Chattanooga TN 37421