A few months ago, my Bible Study class was discussing tithing. I was a little shocked to know that there were some people in our class that did not believe in the concept of tithing. I understand that your decision to tithe is a personal and often tough decision to make but I did not realize that there were those who would debate its concept.
It was further interesting when a friend said that his reason for not tithing was because he didn’t want his minister to personally profit from his contributions. I have been thinking about this since reading his comment and this is what I think.
If you are concerned about what your minister/church is doing with your money, how much do you really believe in the mission and purpose of your church? Are your financial contributions to the church or to the work of God? What must be happening in your church to cause you concern?
My final thought is from a message that a minister recently stated during our offering session. As everyone was being called for the offering, the host minister notified the congregation of how much they were expected to give in order for the church to meet its fundraising goal. But the guest minister stood up and he encouraged everyone to give what they can because he recognized that there may be those who are not able to give the “required” amount and didn’t think they should be ashamed of the amount that they can afford to give.
I have been in services where the minister has asked for upwards of $100, in fact I just found out that one church is asking for $1,000 per family for an upcoming program. I have even been to services where the minister asked the congregation to hold their offering in the air. I heard of someone who attended a service where the congregation brought their offering based on how much they were paying, beginning with the higher givers and trickling down to the lower givers. I seems odd that so much focus should be placed on the amount of the offerings rather than celebrating the fact that people are giving to the ministry regardless of the amount. I believe the minister should educate the congregation on the purpose of paying tithes and provide information about how the money for the church is being used but like a business, if people don’t believe in what you are doing; they will not support you.
Once again, I believe tithing is a very personal decision and I feel offended when my gift somehow becomes associated with my faith. I pay my tithes but it is not something that I brag about nor is it something that I feel the need to share with those in my church. This decision is between me and God. There are some people who have the desire to give but they honestly cannot afford to do so. There are also those have it to give but don’t have the desire. I don’t think ministries should try to guilt their members into paying.
(By the way: we will address my opinion of ATM machines in churches at a later date).