Why Do We Offer an E-Giving Option?
Breesport Baptist Church is over 150 years old and we have never had E-giving before, so why now? First, a little bit of history trivia about the church and banks. In the mid 1800's, there was no offering taken for the church. Those who attended the church paid an annual pew tax which was assessed by the church. If you were a guest, you could come and visit. However, once you were a member, you were assessed an annual tax to have a seat available to you.
That eventually transitioned to offerings, but the church would only accept cash. In 1913, the US government passed the Federal Reserve Act which established the Federal Reserve and a clearing house for checks. Prior to that time there was not the proper infrastructure to make checks useful, and so Bank Notes were used to transfer large sums of money between banks, but checks were normally available to the average citizen. However, checks and their inherent ease of use and safety become popular until the were accepted for most payments in the US. Today, 90% of households today have checking accounts, but many are used to enable debit cards. Fewer and fewer checks are written each year. However, the number of electronic fund transfers have increased by a huge amount.
On this our 150th anniversary year, we thought it might be helpful to offer electronic giving for our supporters. Our current offering will handle direct bank transfers from accounts available a technique known as ACH transfers, debit card payments and credit card payments. Seating is always free at the BBC, and you no longer need cash or check to contribute to the work of the church.
But it is not just for convenience that this change is being made. For those who are believers, there are many commands about our finances. Our tithes and offerings should be of the first fruits, they should be a gift given with a glad heart, and they should be prepared for and planned. In our crazy busy world, we can forget to write a check, pick up cash from the bank, be prepared for our tithes and offerings. By offering a system where you can reason with yourself about the appropriate amount, the appropriate timing, and then give with a system that will execute your gift on the day of the week or month you decide and with the regularity you decide. This can help you with the discipline of giving.
There is one other reason that we believe now is a good time for us to offer this method of giving. We introduced streaming video for our Sunday Worship service earlier this year. Since it has been available on FB Live, the viewership has grown significantly. If you are near and are enjoying it and can come, we would encourage you to be at the church on Sundays, but if you are far away or can not come and be with us due to illness or other reason, you probably still want to make offerings to God. You can now do that on both the website and our FB account. We would encourage you not only to give, but to contact us for prayer, counseling, or other discipleship information that we have for you.
The one thing that we would ask of you though is that you never use debt to finance gifts for God's work. If that is your situation or potential situation, we have some financial counselors at the church as well as some resources that we can help you manage your money.