Is Preaching on Tithing Right for Churches?
A pastor once said that he has never preached on giving, and he is not about to do so now. Another pastor was quite willing to have tithing taught in his church if it was done by someone else. While the issue of tithing may not be the best way of approaching the subject of money in the church, we know that the word ‘tithe’ appears prominently in the Old Testament, and rarely in the New Testament. So, should we preach about money or tithing?
We can agree that in the Bible, there are many references to the subjects that deal either directly or indirectly with money. For example, there are twice as many verses on money as there are on faith and prayer combined. Jesus talked more about money than heaven and hell combined. He said more about how we view and handle our money and possessions than any other topic. In addition to this there are words such as generous, wealth, riches, treasure, possessions, give, money, giving, tithe, receive, offering, etc. come to mind. When you lump these all together, the subject matter on money in the Bible is quite large.
For the most part, the admonitions of the Bible can be lumped into several key result areas:
- All our assets belong to God, and we are managers, not owners
- Our income comes from God as well – he even finds us our jobs
- We should not accumulate wealth for the sake of riches, but rather to be used for God
- We should build up treasures in heaven by our giving
- The poor and needy should be our priority
- We should be givers, not takers or receivers
- Tithing is one measure, offerings are another
So it is incumbent for the Biblical preacher to address these issues and more as they arise just like they would address subjects like: salvation, kingdom, gossip, sin, death, etc.
Central to church fundraising for ministry is preparing the donor to respond to what God is saying to him. Or put another way, it is compassionate vision casting that is done in an appropriate manner.