On the subject of dealing with our treasure, John Wesley, the father of the Methodist movement, instructs,“earn all you can, save all you can and give all you can.”
The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
As it is written:
“He scatters abroad, He gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
At Chapel Hill, 10% of the “first fruits” goes to outreach ministries.
What is the First Fruits Fund?
In the scriptures, God asks His people to give of their very best, their “first fruits.” First fruits are given off the top before anything else. This is a way of acknowledging that everything we have that is good – our time, our talent, our treasure – is from God. In response, we are to be grateful, be good stewards of His gifts and share with those less fortunate.
When Chapel Hill United Methodist Church was being planned the founders wished to emphasize that it would be a congregation that expressed the importance of reaching out with time, talent and treasure. If the church wished to encourage the congregation to give, then it needed to model what it is to give. It was agreed by the congregation that one way of doing this was to set aside 10% of each Sunday’s collections to put in a fund to be given for outreach ministry. This fund is called the First Fruits Fund.
How is the Fund Distributed?
Distribution of the First Fruits Fund (FFF) is determined by church members. All church members are welcome to participate in this important ministry.
By design, the FFF is replenished each Sunday. All of the funds are distributed each year. Funds are not held back for a “rainy day” for every day is a rainy day for someone in need.
All are invited to present requests for consideration of funding. First Fruit Fund distribution meetings are held once each quarter. All are welcome to attend, however, only church members are allowed to vote on how the funds are spent.
Which Outreach Ministries Receive Funding?
Each quarter, members of the church vote on how the resources of the First Fruit Fund (FFF) shall be distributed. Ministries that receive funding may include local, national and international organizations.