Question of the Week...
by Hugh Halter on August 17th, 2013


Question of the week........  Kingdom Giving vs. Tithing

A few months ago I ran into a friend that was planting a church in a large metro city.  
His core team were processing how they would “give or tithe” as they established this church and after a long season of prayer and a few strange circumstances, they decided that the best investment of their collected finances would be to start a self sustaining business that could employ people.  The business happened, is a huge success in the city, is bringing people together, is blessing other businesses, and the church leaders and church itself have gained huge positive street cred.  I met with some of the early investors and asked, “Did the money you invested count in your mind, as a tithe?”  He looked around the room to make sure no one was looking and said, “Yep, that’s exactly how my wife and I viewed this.  We employ 40 people, 30 
of which were not Christians, it’s  been a huge ministry to the community and I’ve 
never felt like I’ve ever given my money to something so kingdom oriented.”
 

So the question of the week is:  Should we blindly tithe to our churches, or find ways 
to use our money to bless people and the community around us?  OR, are these the 
same thing?   Your thoughts?


Posted in Adullam, Incarnational Community, Missional Church, The Church, Question of the Day, Question of the Day    Tagged with worship, offering, giving, tithing, question of the day, church, prayer, Jesus, missional, Hugh Halter, season


8 Comments

Susan - August 17th, 2013 at 2:49 PM
My husband and I were just discussing this after we discovered that we're overdrawn. When we saw that we're in the hole, I had to ask, "Are we doing something wrong?" But neither one of us thinks so. We haven't formally tithed for a few years. He served on the deacon board and couldn't bring himself to do it after seeing that the biggest percentage of money that came in went to the building and staff salaries. Now we give to some causes and to people we know who need it.
Clint Garman - August 17th, 2013 at 3:04 PM
We opened our pub to be part of our community - in doing so we have tried to care for the people, the city and the church. We believe kingdom giving and tithing go hand in hand. We pay our employees above the norm, we give gifts monetarily as well as tokens to care for them and work our butts off to make sure the pub is run with people desiring love, grace and truth above all things. In that we tithe/give/contribute to the growth of the employees, physically and spiritually. We also give to a variety of schools, clubs, missions and others through the pub. We also give through our local body as well. Each are intertwined and we pray and weigh what will be the most effective for the kingdom. Mistakes have been made but we have never been afraid to pull the trigger. We also are trying to learn and live generosity/hospitality gospel. We also employ 25 and live to the means that are leftover after our staff, community and church is cared for. Still a work in progress...
Tom Clegg - August 17th, 2013 at 3:11 PM
Good topic Hugh! The question, however, is framed by the word BLINDLY and suggests the "church" is also, by inference, "blind." If the "church" in question is blind and therefore without vision that is on thing but to suggest that the "church" or all "churches" are "blind," that is entirely another issue separate, i believe, from what you are trying to ask and suggests an unfair assessment of all "churches."

The question, i think, you might consider asking is can we live generously better together or apart?

Just my two cents.

Love you bud!

Tom
Marty Schoenleber - August 19th, 2013 at 11:23 AM
I like Hugh's question, especially as amended and refocused here by Tom. If we house-church, organic church people want to have more influence in the larger body of Christ, we need to graduate from comparison and critique of what is more discussion of call and celebration of the "new thing" God is doing.
bob bonnell - August 17th, 2013 at 8:51 PM
Really great entry Hugh. Kristin shared it with us. We tithe regularly in our church/3rd place. After 10 years it is still helping to meet the needs of the coffee house, 6 recovery groups, artists, musicians, street folk (regular 'church guests'), hungry, homeless.. then there are the students who we pay it forward to for a good cup-o-joe (and for others who can't afford it) then there is the severe 'over tipping' going on to support the baristas... there are always needs and places where our tithe goes to work. I guess we kind of give as we go throughout the week supporting one thing, person or need. But I love the story of the business venture... Hmmmmmm!? Thanks for the observation.
Morgan - August 18th, 2013 at 4:41 PM
Well, it seems to me that the tithe goes to wherever you're getting your bread and wine from. Who or what establishes you in your spiritual and visible connection to Christ? Oh, and Hugh, I think I know the place you're talking about. Isn't it on a street named after a tree, or flower, or something like that?
Heather Goodman - August 19th, 2013 at 1:22 PM
Who came up with the idea that tithes should go to churches instead of any sort of charitable investment? Oh,right, churches thought that up. 'Nuff said.

Oh,and where did we get the idea that the Old Testament mosaic law for Jewish people and the Levitical priesthood has anything at all to do with the practice of New Testament Christian gentile believers? Oh right, churches thought that one up too.

I believe the NT norm for believers is radical giving, which is a completely different topic than the obsolete Mosaic edict of tithing. Radical giving is not ecclesiological - while Paul mentioned taking up an offering in the NT, he said the offering was for poor christians and was to STOP when he arrived. It was temporary, need-based. Giving is always like that - it is a response to a need. Tithing has no real applicability to the money of NT believers - the only thing that is still applicable and relevant is GIVING, and giving is unconstrained, unmandated, completely wild and free....
Brian Lenney - September 14th, 2013 at 10:23 AM
If people stop blindly "tithing" to institutional churches a lot of guys will have to get jobs but as statistical studies have shown (it was either Ed Stetzer or Jeff Vanderstelt that posted some studies on this) most American pastors wouldn't do the job if they didn't get paid from it. So I say, let's funnel our money into things that will bless the community around us, things that will bless the vulnerable and disadvantaged people groups in our midst. Because that's what the biblical early church did with their money, it didn't go to a salaried full time pastor. You don't see buildings budgets and big shots in the biblical church.
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