This perspective post was provided by Rev. John Pellowe, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Council of Christian Charities, as part of our faith and giving series.
Charitable giving is central to Christian spirituality. Christians see everything they have, material and spiritual, as unmerited gifts from God. God gives them to us only because he is generous and wants to bless us. God is even a sacrificial giver. Jesus Christ, God-made-man, gave himself up to death so that we could be restored to relationship with God. God is so generous and loving that he holds nothing back that is for our benefit. How then could we, who have received so generously of his love, not be generous in turn to our fellow human beings? How could we not give sacrificially so that all persons, whether Christian or not, could receive God’s blessings? Choosing to give is how Christians participate in God’s work of blessing this world.
God’s generosity affects daily life for Christians who are mature in their faith:
- Christians act as stewards rather than owners of their resources, so all financial decisions start with discerning how God wants them to use their financial resources. They proactively look for opportunities to give rather than waiting passively for fundraising appeals.
- Because they view themselves as conduits through whom God’s blessings flow to people or ministries in need of them, Christians budget to give to charity and to give directly to people in need. Many will choose to live a lifestyle that is lower than the one their income could support, just to make doubly sure they can give.
- Many Christians challenge themselves to sacrificially give as much as they can while still being cheerful with the amount they’re giving. There really is a joy in giving to worthy causes!
Giving is very important to me personally for several reasons:
- Giving to charity leverages my ability to do good deeds. I am limited in the good that I can personally do by my skills and my geography, but giving to worthy charities allows me to vicariously participate in the great work charities are doing all over the world.
- Giving money away is also a check against becoming greedy. It shows that I have surrendered my financial situation to God and trust him to provide as needed.
- And every time I give, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I am an extension of God’s hands at work in this world.
Rev. John Pellowe, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Council of Christian Charities
John’s passion is to help Christian churches and agencies become exemplary, healthy, and effective. His practical experience and academic background in business (MBA, Wilfrid Laurier) and ministry (MDiv, Tyndale; DMin, Gordon-Conwell) have equipped him well to serve as CEO of CCCC. Since 2003 John has been advancing CCCC’s mission by providing organizational oversight, thought leadership, and strategic direction. John is ordained by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. He has served his church as treasurer, deacon, and elder, and he is currently on the board of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.