Some give gifts at Christmas in remembrance of the gifts the three wise men brought to Jesus – gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Others give to follow God’s example of giving His Son Jesus for us, or to remind us of the gift we have of salvation and the Holy Spirit.
Whatever reason you give wrapped presents to friends and family this Christmas, the reason we give monetarily and of our talents to the local church, is because God’s Word tells us to do so. And it tells us to give cheerfully. God loves a cheerful giver.
Even cheerful givers appreciate being thanked. It lets them know that the person accepted their gift and appreciates it. The same is true when we give to our church or to a charity. We like to know that the gift was received and that it was appreciated. That is not WHY we give, but it IS a responsibility of the recipient to acknowledge and thank the giver.
Year-end contribution statements are not only a tax document; they are a way for us, the church, to say “thank you” to our donors. Whether you mail statements or send an email letting donors know they can access their own giving records, consider including a “thank you” message in that envelope or email. We like to let our donors know some of the many ways the church used their donations to share Jesus throughout the past year.
If you mail statements, that “thank you” might be a letter from your pastor that lists some of the projects that you helped sponsor. If you send an email notification, it might contain a video message, actually showing some of the ways tithes and offerings have been used to further God’s work. Or perhaps you just want to modify the ‘notice’ blurb of the statement itself.
While year-end statements take time, effort, and money (if you mail them), they are an important part of giving and receiving – and that is the act of saying “thank you”.