Money is the lubricant of the gospel. It is necessary to do what we do here on earth to expand the Kingdom of God and to build the Church for
Jesus Christ. If you have been a pastor for at least a week or two, you have learned the harsh reality that you need money to fulfill God's vision
for your church not to mention just keep the lights on. As you might detect by now, money is our subject for this study.
Every pastor knows all too well that the monies needed to fund his church’s operations primarily comes from those who sit in the pews Sunday
after Sunday. When the folks out there are generous, things go well. When they withhold what is right, things get tough. This is Local Church
101 economics. What you must do as a pastor is to insure that your church has all that it needs to fulfill the vision of God.
Even though I have seen all sorts of methods for receiving tithes and offerings in the local church, the act of giving is one of the fundamental
aspects to our worship of God. Our gifts to God are our sacrifices of worship to the One who is worthy to be worshipped. The importance of
the act of giving as a form of worship cannot be emphasized too strongly. It was central to the worship of Jehovah in the Old Covenant and it
remains very important to our worship of God in the New Covenant. This brings me to you, Pastor, and the requirement you have to receive
the gifts to God from your people.
It is unbelievable to me that there are so many pastors who shun away from this pastoral responsibility of teaching on the subject of giving
tithes and offerings. Some feel that it is wrong to speak of money in any way in a worship service, that it is some sort of abomination to God. It
is not. Others think that the receiving of tithes and offerings should be a low-key, no mention type of offering box-in-the-back-of-the-sanctuary
program. I don't personally recommend this method. Still others make much to-do about the offering taking in inordinate amount of time on it.
This might be an over-kill. It is not my intent to persuade any pastor of one method or the other, it is however to motivate the men of God to
place the proper emphasis on the tithe through teaching and practice.
One of my spiritual fathers rightly taught us that if we want to see certain things in our churches we must teach along those lines until the
people get it and begin to practice it. I think this is the correct way to move a congregation into a full understanding of a subject and then
remain on that subject until proper conduct follows. The subject of tithing is one that lends itself to such an approach. I contend that when a
true child of God hears the truth and that truth is established within him he will obey it because of his love for God and his desire to please
What hinders some pastors from teaching on the tithe? Perhaps it is fear. They fear people. What if the folks in the pews reject this truth and
leave the church because they think too much emphasis is being placed on money in the church? My response is this: let them leave. That is
not a cold and callous reaction but rather the result of careful consideration to the meaning of teaching. You cannot teach just what you
perceive the people want to hear or what tickles their fancy. You must teach the truth – the whole truth - in love. And part of the truth is God’s
command to His priests to receive the tithes from His people. That is not a prerogative you have, Pastor, it is a command directly from the
throne of God.
It is key that you instill in your people what the tithe really is. First of all you must steer them away from any thoughts of legalism; the giving of
tithes is not a legal responsibility towards God. One’s righteousness is not in any way tied to one’s obedience in the giving of tithes. However,
you do your people an injustice if you fail to include in your instructions on tithing that tithing pleases God and pleasing God should be central
to their relationship with Him.
Any correct study on the giving of tithes is not complete apart from recognizing that it is an act of worship that produces direct benefits to the
giver of tithes. There are strong and compelling passages of Scripture that develop this doctrine fully and those must become commonplace
in your instructions on this subject. It has been my experience that an ongoing instruction about tithing is more productive than one or two
designated Sunday’s each year being given to the subject. I began the practice of giving a very brief word of instruction just prior to every
offering in every service. Over the course of a few months, anyone attending our church would hear the entire teaching on the subject of
giving and receiving. Much fruit came from this method. We saw most believers rise into this truth and practice it faithfully. Preachers used to
say, “….20% of your congregation will fund 80% of your church budget…”; praise God that nonsense did not hold true in our church. Correct
teaching made the difference in my church. It will make the difference in yours as well.
Pastor, boldly teach your people the truth about the tithe, and then lovingly receive it on behalf of God. Make it truly an act of worship in your
worship service. Give it the respect that is due especially in light of the fact that you are presenting to God a sweet-smelling sacrifice that
extols His goodness and majesty. Cast away thoughts that the offering time is a fund-raising function. It is not. This is a sacred act of worship
worthy of its place on your Order of Service.
I want to take this word of instruction on the tithe two steps further by first of all admonishing you, Pastor, to be a tither as well. And, lastly,
develop the practice of corporate tithing. Your church needs to tithe. Take that ten percent of all revenues into your church and open the flow
outward to other ministries that are doing the work of the Kingdom.
|Receive From Them The Tithe