For the past few months we have been receiving emails and phone calls asking how a church can promote giving during tough economic times. During the conversations and interactions with these ministers of the Gospel the issue of the tithe is always one that brings both positive and negative responses, fears and apprehensions.
The first and most important value that must be utilized is the power of the Word of God. This means teaching the Biblical tithe. Many words have been substituted in place of tithe. In fact, the whole teaching of tithing is being lost in many churches today. We much about generosity and investing. Though the terms are good, they do not present the Biblical model of the tithe. To set aside a tenth of ones income is basic and commanded. The discipline of tithing actually produces the ability to be generous and to invest. But the terms in and of themselves do not produce faithful tithing.
Tithing must be taught and it must be modeled. Leaders must humbly lead in the giving of the tithe. To share the experiences with people is to actually accomplish more in the way of teaching than many of the other approaches. People hear the older generation discuss it but often discredit the truth due to "changing times". When the leaders of the church actually live the truth, the truth is caught.
Third, it is important that GOOD STEWARDSHIP be practiced by the church. Wasteful spending and sloppy record keeping will negate in the minds of people, the teaching of tithing. The secular approach is in full view with the average person in the church - need gets attention. When the truth of tithing is taught and yet sloppy and wasteful stewardship is practiced, Satan has clear path to confuse and corrupt the subject being taught.
These are tough times! Live tithing, teach tithing, practice good stewardship, and watch as God blesses you, your people and His church for His glory.