Each month, we introduce you to a Christian who is on the generosity path, and we ask them what God’s taught them about giving.
This month, meet Rob Allin from the United Kingdom.
Rob began his career as a Chartered Accountant, before turning his efforts to building his own practice, Business Partners Financial & Management Services Limited, to serve the needs of growing companies, both in accounting and other aspects of business.
1. God often sows the seeds of generosity early in our Christian life.
On the evening that Rob gave his life to Jesus as a teenager, he recalls hearing the speaker share about living by faith. “He was amusing in explaining that he didn’t know where his next piece of income was coming from and how it was hard to explain his income [by faith] to the Inland Revenue [tax authorities]. I don’t know that that’s why I came to faith, but it certainly made a significant impression.” As his walk matured, giving became a key part of Rob’s journey. “When Pauline and I were married, we focused on the tithe and that was it,” says Rob. “But then we started to realise that there’s much more to it than that.”
Time is a valid expression of love and generosity.
2. Adjust your priorities.
As the Allins grew in generosity, God expanded their thinking beyond finances. “People would come to the house for financial counsel,” says Rob, “or we would have people stay in our spare room while they got back on their feet. I was challenged some years ago by a speaker who said that if you can’t find time in your schedule for people, you need to adjust your priorities. As our children have grown, we need to make an effort to take time to listen to them. Time is a valid expression of love and generosity.” The Allins put church giving first in their finances, but find space to be “spontaneous within the budget.” Rob says, “While I’m passionate about the local church being first in our giving, there are opportunities to privately bless individuals. We might learn that a family needs help and we can give without strings attached; it’s a love gift. You have to be wise, but at the end of the day, you want it to be a love gift; it’s between them and God.”
3. Building campaigns: Giving from income or capital?
Since Rob chose to spend less time on his business and more time serving The C3 Church, Cambridge as its Stewardship Pastor, he’s given thought to how building campaigns fit into his family’s giving. Rob says, “We have given to capital campaigns from our savings. We’ll say, ‘OK, we don’t need a new car this year’ or ‘We’ll delay home improvements.’ We’ve saved up money and from these savings, we can give to the building project.”
The Allins love to give to:
As the Stewardship Pastor, of course, Rob loves to give to his church, C3. The church has around 750 attendees on a normal Sunday, spanning the generations. The church is growing numerically and the members are giving sacrificially to see their church impact the Cambridge community. “Community actions projects are doing really well,” says Rob, “and we’re seeing stories of changed lives.” After a significant building campaign, the church moved into the new facility in October of 2015. The result? “As a result of the building being so visible, we get to meet so many needs.
We have an Open Lunch on Friday for anyone who wants to turn up. Our presence has drawn in non-Christians, the local council, the mayor and the MP [member of parliament].” The local authorities are very enthusiastic about C3’s impact on the community and are prepared to offer funding, as they see projects being delivered passionately and with excellence. With the building as such a great resource and C3’s engagement with the community, Rob says, “the influence is increasing but the key thing for me is the positive impact on people’s lives.”