In a previous blog post I discussed the 3 steps to teaching tithing. I would encourage you to take 5 minutes and read that post first if you haven’t already done so.
Evaluate is step 1. The pastor and leadership must evaluate the church’s stance/view/theology on tithing. There are many questions to ask and answer before you can move to step 2. The answers to the questions will certainly dictate the direction of “normalizing the conversation surrounding generosity” in your church. Questions you should ask and answer:
- Do we want to use the word ‘tithe/tithing’ or do we want to use ‘give/giving’ as the words to discuss giving in our church?
- If we use ‘tithe’ what do we mean by that? Do we discuss ‘tithe’ as giving 10% or are we using it as a more generic term to discuss ‘regular giving’.
- What does the Bible have to say about ‘tithing?”
- If we use ‘tithe’ as giving 10% are we talking about people giving 10% of their income to the church before they give to other organizations? If so, why are we asking them to do this? Is there a biblical foundation for this stance?
- If we say giving 10% (total giving to all organizations including the church) is what we want our people to strive for then what % is the desired amount to give to the church?
- How will we handle the question “Should I tithe on the gross or the net?” This may seem silly but it is a serious question for many people. You must have an answer.
- Do we want to use the Old Testament teachings or New Testament teachings on tithing?
- Didn’t Jesus abolish the law of the Old Testament? If he did, then isn’t the Old Testament teaching on tithing abolished?
- What did Jesus have to say about tithing? Did he talk about it at all?
These are some of the questions every church leader should ask and answer. Tithing is one of the most misused and misunderstood words in the church. Your church should have a written stance on tithing that is biblical and clear. Everyone in your church will not necessarily live up to the expectations you set surrounding giving. However, all people function better in environments where expectations are clearly stated.
Am I making this too hard? Am I making too big of a deal out of this topic? Have you had to deal with this in your church?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.