We want to introduce you to two outstanding Northland Finance Team members, Brenda Beaver and Donna Gagnon. Between the two of them, these women have served our church for 28 years. We’ve asked Brenda and Donna a few questions. Their answers show valuable spiritual maturity and knowledge, and can inspire us all to give.
Q: If you could give one reason why you think it’s important for Christians to give financially to their local church, what would it be?
Donna: Because we serve a generous God. The Bible teaches us about God’s generosity. He blesses those who give sacrificially. 1 Kings 17 illustrates this. A widow gathered sticks to bake her last loaf of bread, she and her son on the brink of death. The prophet Elijah asked her to make him a small loaf. Because she was obedient, her bowl of flour and jar of oil never ran out. God wants to bless us, but we need to have faith and trust Him with what we have to give.
Brenda: Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse so there may be food in my house.” I’ve always equated the “storehouse” to the place where I am fed spiritually and relationally. For me, this is Northland. I desire to follow God’s word and to worship my Heavenly Father with the first fruits of my financial blessings.
Q. How did you learn about biblical giving?
Donna: From the time I was a small child I knew about giving. However, I did not understand what it really meant until I attended a Generous Life study at Northland in the late 2000s. The concept of giving generously, whether 10% or more, and doing so joyfully and without coercion gave me a new perspective on what God wanted. He is seeking our hearts, not our wallets. Besides, it all belongs to Him, we are just stewards of His property.
Brenda: I learned biblical giving from my mom. As children we worshiped every week, attended Sunday School, and learned the ways of God. Giving of our finances was a part of our learning. I tithed out of my babysitting money. This wasn’t easy at first, but it was a spiritual les
Q. What do you see is the difference between tithes and offerings?
Donna: A tithe of 10% is a base amount. Offerings are above and beyond our tithe, perhaps gifts for a specific appeal, a special collection, or support of other ministries. Offerings should not be a replacement for our financial support of the church.
Brenda: Tithes are the first fruits of all the financial blessings that God provides. An offering is “sacrificial giving” above and beyond my tithes. I always go back to Luke 6:38 from The Passion Translation: “Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return.” I believe offerings raise us to a higher level of obedience and gives God a greater opportunity to show how BIG He really is as my provider. He says, “Test Me and see what I will do.”
Q: When you pray for the financial future of Northland, what do you pray?
Donna: I pray over every gift and every giver and ask God to help us steward every penny well to His glory. I pray I will be an instrument of God’s purpose for Northland and cooperate with His will for what He wants us to accomplish. I pray that God will multiply all the financial blessings and that they would be used to reach more people so that they can be saved by the message of the Gospel that we share each and every day.
Brenda: When I pray for the finances of Northland, I thank our Father God for His faithfulness. In the last 14 years, I have cut every check for every invoice expensed by Northland Church. I can surely testify to His goodness. I continue to be amazed by and am so grateful for our church family’s commitment and generosity. In lack and plenty, Northland’s ministries are still impacting the world and continue to do so for His Glory. Never in my time at Northland have I been so confident of the integrity and the trustworthy stewardship of every gift given. Even though we are in a time of challenge and testing, I believe, without a doubt, as we humble ourselves, we are going to see a move of God that many of us can’t even comprehend. I am blessed to be a part of this church and move forward committed to preserve and pray that my life would glorify God. I’m so thankful to walk this journey with my Northland Church family.