3 Things Tithing WON’T Solve

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Help your leaders see beyond the tithe.

If you’ve been in church leadership for any length of time, then at some point you’ve been in the “financial crunch” meeting; that gathering of leaders who meet to discuss the budget shortfall.

Inevitably, someone will say with almost prophetic resonance, “We must get everyone to tithe,” and in all likelihood, many around the table will voice strong agreement.

How do you respond to this? This is when you must seize this teaching moment and help them see beyond the tithe.

Specifically, you must teach your leaders that there are at least three financial challenges that tithing will not solve.

1. Tithing will not solve the inequality-of-giving challenge.

As John Maxwell has pointed out, the Pareto Principle dictates the 80-20 rule will always be present.

You must teach your leaders that even if every single person in your church were to tithe, you would still find that 80 percent of your giving comes from 20 percent of the people, because 80 percent of the money in your church is held by 20 percent of the people.

2. Tithing will not solve the Kingdom-return challenge.

There is a tremendous temptation to attribute decreased giving to disobedience to the biblical “rules” on tithing.

However, for many people, if they don’t believe their local church is providing an optimal Kingdom return, they may well slide some of that giving to other ministries.

Your leaders must learn that your people may well be tithing; but they may simply no longer be tithing to your church.

3. Tithing will not solve the culture-of-generosity challenge.

In Exodus 36, God’s people were so lavishly giving to the work of the Lord that they had to be told to stop; there was too much coming in.

You don’t get to that level of heartfelt generosity in your church by browbeating your people into tithing. Help your leaders understand that this kind of generosity flows out of hearts that are fully devoted to Christ and fully sold out to your church’s vision.

To change the financial trajectory of your church, you need your key leaders on board, which is why it’s so important to seize these teaching moments.

Your first step may well be to help them see beyond the tithe.

What are the principles you have taught when leading through a challenging financial season?  

Scott Cochrane Vice President- International, Willow Creek Association. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam, Amy and John. Football and hockey further down the list

More from Scott Cochrane or visit Scott at http://www.scottcochrane.com

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  • ILUPEJU KK SHARON

    If you want to be out of financial embaracement, you must strech out your hands and give. You can call it tithes,offerings,if you are led to call it packages or gifts, you are still correct. God was the first to demonstrate giving, by giving his only begotten son JESUS. A stagnant water stinks. If you don’t want to stink you must flow to others. Be a source of blessing to others. Let GOD be seen in your domonstation of love. Know this, and know it well, that your giving without JESUS is hell. You need to be saved, accept JESUS as your lord and personal lord and saviour, then you are washed with the blood of jesus. The blood cleasnses from all iniquity and unrighteousness. Now walk in the spirit. And you will not fulfil the desires of the flesh. This is when God will be interested in your giving. He wants you to first give your life to Him and be secured from the damnation to come, before you give your money. Remain blessed.

  • http://Rickenba.ch/blog/en Ralph M. Rickenbach

    Tithing, giving is obeying God’s principles. It will not solve the problems of the church, though. A giving heart will solve the problems of the giver, not the receiver. It is more blessed to give than to receive. The thing you have to get through to your leaders is:

    – Think of tithing as a blessing for the people giving. Nothing more. Especially not your provision. That is unbelief.

    – Let the church tithe Leaders tithe towards their apostle, the apostle into the life of his spiritual father. Church are people, not organization. Therefore, leaders that tithe into their church tithe into themselves.

    The windows of heaven are only going to open over that church if the church lives God’s principles. Yes, it might come through the people’s tithe. And yet again, it might not. God provides.

  • Felicidad Delos Santos Villamo

    I am pastoring a Church for 20 long years now and 98% of my members are giving their tithes and offerings to the Lord. The Church is so small, just consist of 50 members, but we have a total gross income last year, 2012 of 632,000.00 Philippine peso, that is equivalent to U.S.$ 16,000.00. You see, when God’s people are taught to love and obey God, they will experience a tremendous breakthrough in their lives. They in return, gave back to God through their tithes and offerings. The result is a so-much blessed congregation of God.

  • Scott Cochrane

    Love the dialogue this is generating. Ralph, your line, “A giving heart will solve the problems of the giver, not the receiver” is a powerful truth! As soon as church leaders begin to teach the tithe as an instrument of helping a church achieve its budget it signals a misunderstanding of this truth.

  • Rev. Crisp

    tithing is not only about money, it is about our lives and what we give Him, If we are in Him then we will do not what is expected, but what is in our heart.

  • Ryan Green

    Every time I hear a discussion on tithe I ask the some salient questions and I never get a good answer. 1. Why didn’t Jesus tell His disciples to tithe, but instead told them to give? Christ told one man who was a follower of the Law that he should tithe because it was a requirement of the Law. Why didn’t any of the Apostles write to the early church asking them to tithe? Why doesn’t the church today teach about the tithe in its entirety? Why do so many churches fail to teach about the third year tithe but stress Mal. 3:10? How many Christians who profess to tithe know that there are at least three types of tithe that were practiced? Why does the church collect tithe every year when God ordained that in the seventh year tithe should not be collected? Do churches use the tithe to do what God ordained it to do? Are churches using the tithe as a shackle for people to give out of compulsion? Why do so many churches lie and tell people that tithing was not in the Law because Abraham tithed without telling their congregation that the heathen nations tithed to their gods too? Are you also teaching the people about the penailty or interest due on the tithe if it is not paid in entirety? Did Abraham tithe to avoid a curse or out of free will? Where in the scriptures does it require the Christians of the early church to tithe? Why do churches who say we are under grace continue to promote a law just for financial benefit? If I’m wrong just check your churches giving history. Who and what gets most of the tithe? How much is given to widows, orphans, and strangers? If the Apostles collected tithe why was there need for the church to sell their property so that all could have in common? If Paul received tithes from the churches why did He work?

    • sayitwell

      In my church we don’t teach tithing as a law to believers, we teach giving as a principle… Jesus fulfilled all of the law with His once and for all sacrifice… therefore, to tithe under the law is to crucify Him afresh… But giving is a principle of life… the more a person gives the more that person receives… Jesus taught His disciples the importance of sacrificial giving… my giving is born out of my love for God… when I think about all He’s done for me, I get led to give abundantly… (that’s often above 10%)
      I think the challenge many of congregations face is their lack of dependence upon The Holy Spirit to work in the lives of the believers to give as they have received… so therefore, they preach and teach tithe as a law instead of giving freely…
      I challenge any church to teach giving out of love instead of tithing out of law… and watch the growth in how much money and resources are given to the congregation…

  • Ryan

    I would say to not even bring the bible up if the church needs the money. Just be honest about the financial need and explain that everything they see around them are not free. Just state your kindly asking a little more for financial support to keep things going or funded. All the physical things of life are our responsibility. Just say that if you like the roof over your heads, the heat and/or air, a good pastor and/or staff, increase in giving would be helpful and appreciated. People should understand rising costs. Also keep people updated with the finances. If giving does increase, thank the church people and members.