Rob began his career as a Chartered Accountant, before turning his efforts to building his own practice, Business Partners Financial & Management Services Limited (www.businesspartners.co.uk) 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.”
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.”