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3 reasons people don’t want to hear about giving

May 24, 2011

I posted last week about the Top 3 reasons why we don’t talk about giving in worship.  That post was geared toward pastors and leaders and was designed to challenge them.

This post is about the other perspective.  A big questions is “Are the reasons we don’t talk about giving in worship the same as the reasons people don’t want to hear about giving in worship?”  There are similarities but I have found the reasons to be strikingly different in many ways.

  1. Teaching/Preaching tithing makes people uncomfortable when they hear it in worship because most people in the congregation are not tithing.  Less than 7% of Christians are tithing (10%) of their income to their local church. Unless your church is radically different, most of the people in your church are not tithing.  This is not meant to condemn anyone or make them feel badly.  It is an unfortunate fact; our people don’t tithe.  We have to teach them what tithing is and why they should do it.
  2. Many people are skeptical of church leadership and how the money is being spent.  Many people ask the question “Is the church being a good steward with the money that is given?”  Unfortunately there have been misuses of money in churches and this erodes the trust between the congregation and church leadership which ultimately causes people not to give the church.  People in your church are giving; they just may not be giving to your church.  We have to show the people of the church the ROI (return on investment) if you will.  We have to celebrate the generosity of the people and we have to show them that the church is using the dollars given in a way that is changing lives in the community and the world.
  3. People reject authority; some more than others.  However, many people will ask “Who is he (pastor) to tell me that I should give and how much to give?”  Many people think that the pastor just wants more money instead of understanding what God has to say about giving.  Giving is biblical and it is vital to our relationship with God.  God does not NEED our money, but we NEED to give in response to God’s generosity to us.  It is the senior pastor’s responsibility to teach this biblical perspective on tithing/giving.
There is gap between church leadership and congregations when it comes to the discussion surrounding giving.  We have to close the gap if we want the local church to have life changing impact in the community it serves.  The best place to start closing that gap is to begin talking about giving in worship with the senior pastor leading the way.
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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 12:58 PM

    NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE pays the Biblical tithe today.

    Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18: The First Tithe – a tenth of crops and animals and commanded to take the tithe to the Levites.

    Deuteronomy 14:22-27: The Second Tithe aka The Festival Tithe – a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.

    Deuteronomy 14:28-29: The Third Tithe aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe – a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.

    Now, tell me. Which of the above three tithes commanded by God does anyone follow today?

    The ONLY people in the Old Testament that were commanded to tithe were those who INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND WITH EVERYTHING ON IT. They got the land, house, animals, crops, etc. ALL FREE AND CLEAR. No mortgage payment or rent to pay. And THEY were commanded to tithe on the crops and animals and take it to the Levites who INHERITED the tithe INSTEAD OF the promised land with everything on it. No one else tithed. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus didn’t tithe. Paul didn’t tithe. Peter didn’t tithe.

    Tithing ended when the Levitical priesthood ended per Hebrews 7:5,12,18.

    The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

    If Christians aren’t giving generously, maybe the problem is practicing good stewardship. What one does with 100% of what God puts in our hands is the test, not what one does with a tenth of what God puts in our hands.

    • May 26, 2011 9:15 AM

      Gary,

      I so appreciate you taking the time to comment with such passion and accuracy. I agree with you on the Old Testament tithe stuff. NO ONE tithes like that for sure. I agree that the tithe is not specifically mentioned in the New Testament. I only mention the tithe (10%) because many people need guidelines. 10% is a good goal for people who are not accustomed to giving back to God anything. It is a goal for many but then we also have to guard against feeling like we have “arrived” when we are giving 10%. I view 10% as the floor of giving; not the ceiling. True generosity does not have an end destination. You can never arrive at generosity and then stop growing.

      I’m not sure that giving back to God should be viewed as sacrificial. Paul tells us that God loves a cheerful giver and sacrifice is often not associated with cheer. Giving back to God is not sacrificial as everything we have possession of is from Him.

      I totally agree with your final comments about maybe the problem is practicing good stewardship. We are called to be good stewards of everything and I firmly believe we are called to be generous.

  2. May 26, 2011 11:59 AM

    Alan said, “I view 10% as the floor of giving; not the ceiling.”

    That’s a problem, Alan. Ten percent is neither the floor nor the ceiling of giving. There is no floor, and there is no ceiling.

    If we are to give “as purposed in our heart,” you can’t define a minimum. Doing so, you replace the heart with a goal. If The Spirit has led you to use ten percent as the minimum, that applies to you only and should not be used to influence someone else. I would have no problem if you said that you are led to give a minimum of ten percent, but I have a big problem telling someone else that their giving should start at ten percent, or that they should use ten percent as a “guideline” as that just isn’t Biblical.

    Giving can be a joy only if it comes from the heart, and once one experiences that joy, giving becomes natural. I believe all too many are robbed of that job because they are using guidelines and goals instead of seeking The Spirit. I believe that some have held back on how much they can give because they feel they have met the guidelines and/or goals presented to them. Those, I believe, are being robbed of blessings.

    Church leaders have it backwards. They parade tithers giving testimonies as to how tithing has changed their lives. Instead, I believe they should be parading those who have nothing to give, but have received from others, changing their lives. When you actually see the fruits of giving, it encourages others to give.

    • May 30, 2011 9:30 AM

      Gary,

      I think you and I would get along. I agree with what you are saying and that is where I am as a generosity coach for churches. We are trying to help churches understand the need to celebrate generosity (all types) in public. Generosity begets generosity. We have to deliver that message so our people’s hearts can change. Living a generous lifestyle takes a heart change for many and it is our job as leaders to help facilitate that change while the Holy Spirit leads us.

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  1. Are You Delivering The Right Generosity Message In Worship | Alan Wildes | Generis | Generis

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