Creative giving

“Honor the Lord with your wealth.” (Proverbs 3:9) Christian Giving is a spiritual expression of grace and generosity. Throughout history the Church has excelled in giving for ministry, missions and social work. Even when there was no cash, giving flourished. Giving is not from the abundance of riches, but abundance of heart as the poor widow offered in the Temple at Jerusalem. (Mark 12: 41-44)
1) Marked sheep: In ancient Israel, one in ten sheep in the flock was devoted to God. The tithed sheep were given special care, as it is for the sacrifice.
2) Marked trees: Christian farmers in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu inscribe the name of a church or mission on one in ten palm trees in the field. The products from that tree were taken to the church and donated or sold, money given as offering.
3) Marked hens: Women who raise poultry birds, mark a few hens for the mission. The eggs are donated to the ministry and the hen is also given for special church events like Vacation Bible School for children.
4) Handful of rice: Whenever women take rice for cooking, take the first handful and put it in a special vessel. When the vessel is full of rice set aside daily, it is given to the church. The rice is used by pastor or community meals or distributed to poor church members.
5) First fruits: The first fruits or crops from all plants and trees were given to the ministry. The tender coconuts, palm tree juice, vegetables…were part of the offering.
6) Piggy banks: Children were given earthen piggy banks to offer to the Lord. Once a year the church collected such funds and used it for helping poor students in the church.
7) Least coin movement: This began among women in the West, later became a global movement. Those involved make a commitment to keep a coin of a particular worth separately for ministry. Whenever they get the change in the market, they separate them for a mission.
Do I joyfully, cheerfully, and creatively give unto the Lord?