Dual Membership and Dual Giving
My wife and I bought a home in Naples during the housing crisis in 2010. Like so many of our new Naples friends from the frozen and cloudy North, we immediately began trying to find a church that reminded us of our “home” church. It was important to us that we find a Bible believing, Jesus-is-the-ONLY-way-to-the-Heavenly-Father preaching/teaching church.
After attending several churches in the area, we found what we were looking for at First Baptist Church Naples. We fell in love with Pastor Wicker and the other staff members and volunteers at FBCN. We appreciated the preaching of Christ from the pulpit and Pastor Wicker’s adamant adherence to the Scriptures. Plus the welcoming atmosphere for such a large church was amazing. We were welcomed by several people that made our experience feel like “home”.
But, that created a concern for us regarding our tithe. How much should we give to FBCN versus our “home” church up North? We were so closely tied to our northern church, which was asking for donations to support their expansion.
During the first few years, Inez and I felt like we needed to primarily support our northern church, because of our commitments and faith and familiarity with “our” northern church. But, as we became more familiar with FBCN and met and made new friends through participation in FBCN’s Bible and Life Groups, our thoughts began to change. We also got involved with two organizations which FBCN also supports: Protected Harbor and the Pregnancy Resource Center.
It was also at this time that I finally decided to retire, so we decided to sell our home in Indiana and move permanently to our Naples home. We have not forgotten our northern church and friends, but now we are so fortunate to have added dozens of new Christian friends in Naples. Our northern church family will always have a slice of our hearts as well as our prayers, but FBCN is now our “home” church and receives our full supports because we can see first hand where our giving is going to change people’s lives.
For those of you who have dual memberships with FBCN and a northern church, please remember that FBCN needs your support to continue their incredible ministry. Just as your northern church has financial needs, so does FBCN. And as our congregation swells during season, so does FBCN’s expenses. The A/C and electrical expenses, cleaning and maintenance expenses, BLG materials expenses, hygiene expenses, etc. - all rise during season and those expenses must be met, as well as the many other needs of our budget. It needs the support of both its year-round members as well as our wonderful seasonal residents.
Please pray concerning what portion of your tithe should be shared with FBCN while you enjoy the warmth of both our weather and the fellowship here at FBCN.
Steve and Inez Edmondson