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“On the first day of the week … 
schedule your electronic funds transfer”?

Most of us are familiar with 1 Cor. 16:1-2:

Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.  On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made (NIV).

Most of us would likely say that this passage teaches us, among other things, that our giving to the Lord’s work should be systematic and regular.

I don’t know just how the early believers “set aside” a sum of money on a regular basis, but one option that 21st-century believers have is electronic funds transfer (EFT): we can have our bank automatically and regularly transfer money to our church.  That’s one way to be systematic and regular.

I’ve received some inquiries from pastors about this.  One question is philosophical: can a believer give via EFT with integrity?  Is it too impersonal, too out-of-sight-out-of-mind?  The other question is procedural: assuming EFT giving to the church is legitimate, how does a church go about setting it up?

I’d like other pastors and church leaders in our district to hear from you on this issue.  Is electronic giving legitimate?  What are its values and disadvantages relative to healthy financial stewardship?  And if you have already implemented electronic giving at your church, what have you found helpful in terms of the specific mechanics of setting up that arrangement?

Post your responses here.  I trust that they will be helpful to pastors and leadership teams that are trying to think through the issue.