Don’t try to shame people into paying tithes

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).

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9 thoughts on “Don’t try to shame people into paying tithes

    • I don’t think I would have been able to go back. That is waayyy toooo much for me. I think the giving will occur if the people see there money is being used for the right purposes. Churches should be held financially accountable just as non profits are.

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  1. Cindy Reese says:

    Based on my understanding of the bible, I do not believe that tithing is compulsory for Christians today. However, I believe that a Christian who worships in a building with lights and air-conditioning with the assistance of a full-time minister, should clearly understand the need to give and be compelled do so out of LOVE.

    If the ‘tithing’ figure (is it 10% of all earnings??) happens to be within your means and your spirit of generosity then you should do so–but, not with some expectation of a plaque, cookie, front pew or pat on the back.

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    • Hey Cindy! I don’t believe that people have an issue with giving but often times their hesitancy to give is a result of them not fully believing in the mission of the organization. In my opinion, when an organization is a benefit to the community and the people feel as though they are reaping a benefit, they are more willing to give whether it is a tithe or an offering. I just don’t like it when people imply that your salvation (which cannot be bought) or your spirituality is tied to your ability or willingness to give financially.

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  2. I’m of the opinion that paying tithes is not and has never been God’s will. After reading this new book “Stop Paying Tithes, by Paula Jarvis I was able to agree with the author that we should be giving as oppose to paying. She has some valid points inside the book and I recommend it to anyone who pay up on sundays.

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  3. Micah says:

    Ms. Womack, you make some valid points, however my question to you and to others here is when you go to store, a restaurant, or any other public place that requires you to pay for their goods and/or services do you ask these same questions? Do you ask why somebody overcharged you for a meal that you could’ve made at home for the fraction of the price? Do you ask where does that money go or do you just pay and take the restaurant at its word? When you go shopping do you wonder where your money goes when you pay for those shoes or clothes that were made at a fraction of the price you’re paying for them? If the answer is NO then why do we do this to the church? Is a Pastor not allowed to make a living just like the afford mentioned?

    Tithes are not a option but it’s your job and reasonable service to give 10% of what God allows you to earn. Read Malachi 3:8. Ms. Womack the bible even says that God loves a cheerful giver. The reason why Pastors have to make people feel compelled to give is because otherwise a lot of us wouldn’t give.

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  4. Micah says:

    Ms. Womack, one more thing you made a comment in your last paragraph that you feel offended when your giving becomes associated with your faith. The truth of the manner is that there is an assoication because there will be times where you don’t have enough money to pay the bills if you give your tithes and you have to have faith that God will provide. Your giving is only a seed that will grow if you allow it to.

    The story of the widow woman who gave her last. It wasn’t about how much she gave but how she gave. She gave her last meaning that her faith was strong enough to know that all is well in spite. If your’re talking strictly about the amount you’re and not how you’re giving it then I understand that statement.

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