“Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” As of 2006, the average church member gave approximately 2.58 percent of their income. In the old testament the standard for the Jewish people was a tenth or ten percent of their income called a tithe. Many believers don’t believe tithing is for today. I agree with this perception, but I don’t think that God’s requirement of the church is less than it was of the Jewish people. It appears that most people who call themselves believers really don’t have a heart for the Kingdom of God
(photo at right by creative common license Noah Wesley)
First of all we are to be conformed to the image of Christ and he gave everything. The early church in Jerusalem had all things in common. There is no valid biblical argument for people giving less than ten percent. However, there is substantial biblical support for more than ten percent.
Empty Tomb Inc. shows what could be done if church members gave an average of ten percent above and beyond current church spending.
First of all, if church members gave ten percent there would be an additional 168 billion dollars given to the church. If sixty percent were made available to expand overseas missions activity that would mean there would be an additional 100.6 billion available for overseas missions.
According to one source:
- $70-80 billion would impact the worst of world poverty
- $5 billion could end most of the 11 million under-5 annual deaths
- $7 billion would be sufficient for lobal primary education for all children
- $1 billion more could be used for global evangelization
In addition there would still be another 33.5 billion available for domestic outreach above what churches are currently doing.
For those believers specifically concerned about global poverty issues within the church, there should be no excuse for not being able to give at least ten percent. If you don’t believe that your church would use it effectively for helping the poor, you could give specifically to missions agencies and others that will.
This should be a motivation for simplifying our lives with regards to possessions, and finances. Every believer should be in a position to give at least ten percent of their income for the Kingdom of God.
Churches meanwhile need to take a serious look at the way they spend money. Many people have been turned off of giving to the church because they don’t like the way it’s being spent. Money spent on big buildings, programs and staffs is turning off an increasing number of younger members. They are not interested in church that is self-indulgent.
As believers, it’s time for all of us to examine our financial affairs. If we say the the Kingdom of God is a priority. Does our budget reflect that? Are we making significant contributions to the Kingdom of God or is our giving simply a token.
Scripture clearly tells us where our treasure is, there your heart is also. Where are our hearts. For the American church at large, it obviously is not the Kingdom of God. But if we repent, and turn, I believe we will see God greatly multiply the Kingdom and I also believe he will increase blessings to us as well. So let’s work to be faithful to Jesus and his Kingdom.
Gospel Poverty lens