How much do I tithe?
The word tithe comes from the Hebrew word ma’aser (literally, “tenth”). For that reason, we follow Malachi 3:10 and its command to “bring the tithes into the storehouse,” or follow the general guideline of offering 10% of our income to Him.
What if I don’t have enough money to tithe?
Giving 10% of your income to your church can be a big - and often frightening - commitment! But if scripture tells us to honor Him with our first fruits and our blessings will be overflowing, we must learn to trust that He is faithful to provide. God wants us to trust Him. Seek His guidance in how much you should give, and he will honor your faithfulness and obedience.
Should I tithe based on my pre-tax or after-tax income? (Gross or Net?)
The most common view is that gross earnings is the amount of God’s provision, and the tithe should be based on one-tenth of God’s provision, while taxes are generally considered payment for the privileges and services provided by the government. It is important to note, whatever you believe, that the spirit in which we give is of greatest value to God. He tells us in II Corinthians 9 that “each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give; not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Are my donations tax-deductible?
Generally, yes. Fountain of Life Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations that we receive are tax-deductible. However, you should consult your tax advisor to see if you can deduct your donations. You will receive a receipt of your gift either by e-mail or by postal mail.
What is the deadline for annual contributions?
Cash contributions must be received or postmarked by December 31 to be included on your giving statement for that year. Online transactions must be initiated by December 31.
Why do you accept credit cards?
Many people in the modern world use credit cards as a safer alternative to cash, or choose to utilize the convenience features and reward programs offered by many cards. These cards can be a powerful and useful financial tool, as long as the balance is being paid off at the end of each statement. The Bible says in Romans 13:8, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” For that reason, we offer the ability to tithe from the credit card. We very strongly discourage anyone with a history of credit card debt from exercising this option.
What are your basic beliefs about money?
We believe that God has blessed our church because, from the beginning, we have followed three core principles in the handling of money: (1) bless people, (2) base your budget on what God wants to happen, not based on what you might get and (3) money is a tool for a church to use to carry-out the work that God has called us to do. We believe these things strike at the heart of how God wants money to be used as seen in the Bible.
Where does Fountain of Life Center Church get all its money?
It’s the financial generosity of everyday people in our community that fuels the incredible life change that we experience around here. Our support comes from the tithes of average people (giving 10%), as well as other contributions from Fountain of Life Center attendees.
How does your budgeting process work?
Each ministry, which consists of paid staff and volunteers, considers what their ministry goals and objectives are for the year. Corresponding costs are then determined. The appropriate staff contacts review and approve, and may recommend changes based on the overall vision for the church. The final step is approval by the Board of Elders.
Does this mean I can find out individual staff salaries?
No. We find that the release of this kind of personal financial information can lead to comparison and discontentment amongst staff members and in the congregation at large. It fosters an environment of value assessments on whether or not a staff member should get what they are being paid, without being privy to the most recent performance review and other factors that contribute to setting a salary. We therefore believe it is best to keep this information to those who are responsible for making these kind of decisions (the Executive Team, Pastors and Elders).
Who sets salaries?
The overall salary structure (and specifically the salary of the Sr. Pastor) is set by the Board of Elders.
What principles are used in setting salaries?
We use several criteria, including surveys of similar churches across the country to see what a similar position pays, the standard of living in Loudoun County, the individual’s performance against stated goals and objectives and overall faithfulness and fruitfulness of the staff member.
What happens with yearly left-over money?
There is currently a fund to bankroll the Lead Pastor’s assistant’s private Caribbean island for her retirement. Once that is paid for, all extra monies will be set aside for a private jet to ferry her to and from. Just kidding. The leftover money is put back into the ministry budget fund for the following year.
CONFIDENTIALITY and SECURITY
Is giving on the site safe? Is your site secure?
Absolutely. Our site uses industry-standard SSL technology to ensure that the information you enter is kept secure from prying eyes. In addition, all sensitive information that we keep in our database is stored in encrypted form so that it is not human-readable.
Will I get spam by giving you my information?
While we may occasionally use your information to contact you, Fountain of Life Center does not buy, sell, barter, trade or otherwise distribute your information to any organization other than for the purposes you’ve given us permission to do (i.e. we have to tell the credit card company your name in order to charge your credit card).
I received a message saying that your site’s certificate wasn’t recognized. What should I do?
Your computer’s list of Certificate Authorities isn’t current. You should update your computer’s operating system software to get a current list. In the meantime, it is safe to use the site - the message is just a warning to make you aware of the situation.
What’s an e-gift?
E-gift is a completely voluntary, pre-approved way to electronically make contributions to Fountain of Life Center directly from your bank account or credit card, avoiding the hassle of putting cash or check in the offering bag each week.
Does this really honor God?
Many people feel that if giving is not done in the midst of a worship service, then it is somehow insignificant. The primary principle in giving is to be cheerful. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 it says, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." The joy of giving comes from the faithfulness of people offering back to God some of the resources he has blessed them with. The method of giving is an individual choice. The ease and consistency of using e-gift may help you meet your giving goals.
Is there a minimum amount I need to contribute?
No. You can designate any amount to be given via e-gift.
Do I have to have an account with a particular bank?
No. E-gift will work with any bank account located in the United States. E-gift also works with major credit cards, money market accounts and mutual funds at brokerage houses.
What if I change my mind?
You can cancel your participation at any time by contacting Fountain of Life Center or through the modify eGift page. You can also change the amount of your contribution at any time. Just keep in mind that it may take as many as seven to ten business days to implement your change.
What if I want to give more to Fountain of Life Center on special occasions?
You are always free to make gifts to Fountain of Life Center in excess of your monthly contributions. Some people do this as part of their year-end tax planning. Your contribution can be placed in the offering bag, mailed to the church office or given through the one time gift page.
What’s in it for Fountain of Life Center?
Our primary motivation is to make it easier to support Fountain of Life Center financially. The automatic withdrawal avoids the hassle of having to make cash contributions or write individual checks to Crossroads each week. There are also some benefits to Crossroads in the form of administrative savings – not having to collect, count, record and deposit as many contributions from the offering bag, and having a more predictable cash flow to help in budgetary planning. While one result may be that some people give more regularly, this program is all about serving those who support this ministry.
What if I have questions that aren’t covered here?
We’re to help! Just contact us here.