>I read recently where a pastor asked what other pastors do with regard to giving. In particular, he wanted to know how much and to where other pastors gave, for he prioritizes the local church.
Though he was not convinced of the tithe, he was convinced of the need to lead by example:
“I do think pastors should set an example for the congregation by giving the first fruits of their income to their own local church.”
After reading my following post (and his cited above) I want to know …
- from church officers – What is your giving policy?
- from church members – What are your expectations with regard to church officers and their giving?
I will share my own sentiment, not because I imagine I will impress anyone, for I certainly doubt that, but also because it’s really already known (but I’ll get to that).
Though the perpetuity of the tithe (i.e., the giving of 10%) is debated, I give 10% of my gross income to my church for 2 main reasons.
1. Although I wasn’t prior to ca. 1999, I am a believer that a Christian should tithe to his/her local church.
I know some say it’s odd to give back to the church from what they’ve given to you, but it is a pleasure and a privilege to give and it’s a good reminder that everything we have is graciously from His hand (James 1:17).
I’m convinced that a Christian should give 10% of his/her income to the local church, and cheerfully give offerings to other things as the Lord leads (cf. 2 Cor 9:7). For me, that includes things such as the Lottie Moon Christmas offering through our church for SBC missionaries and my regular support of Ligonier Ministries and some missionaries in Ukraine with the Navigators.
However, this post is not a defense of that practice, but an explanation of what I do and the first reason why. Perhaps I will attempt a post to clarify and justify that, but just bear with me for a moment.
2. The second reason I tithe to my church is that it’s an expectation at my church for a leader/officer (i.e., elder or deacon) to do so, and it’ s my expectation as well.
Per the constitution of Providence Church:
“It is expected that church officers will lead by example, which includes financially
giving, with tithing as the ideal minimum.”
(As you can see, anyone familiar with our constitution would pretty well know at least the minimum of what I do.)
In other words, our church expects an elder or deacon to tithe as a minimum. We don’t check W-2s or anything like that, but our expectation of officers is that they do at least that. Of course, biblically, we encourage them and others to sacrificially giving and generosity as is repeatedly emphasized in the New Testament, so much so that it’s easy to see the tithe as a minimum expectation.
I said all that for this reason, I think the non-officers in a church have that expectation on them anyway. Don’t you? Wouldn’t you feel uneasy about the spenders of the money not being contributors at least to the level of a tithe?
God is not impressed with our 10%, not even for pastors. He owns it all and I expect He’s underwhelmed with anything other than 100%. (cf. Mark 12:41-44)
- Regardless of your convictions about tithing, what do you think about your church leaders and their giving? What are your expectations of church leaders in this area?
- If you are a church leader, what is your practice?