Why is Giving Down?

Giving Statistics Down

Barna’s statistics recently came out about giving trends over the past year. I just recently posted my thoughts about that as well. Here is the question, Why is giving down? Is it because of a bad economy? Is it because of gas prices? Is it because pastors aren’t preaching tithing enough? Probably due to the backlash against tithing, i’m sure pastors are preaching more about tithing. they have to keep up with the grandeur religious empires. After all it’s all about building the kingdom of ?_______?

Tithing is a simple solution for stewardship in a church. All a pastor has to do is make sure his people know they are required to tithe, and then increase the number of people. Viola! you have your church a steady budget to grow with. It’s very easy. The more people, the more offering you get. If people start questioning the use of the money, just make them happy with free coffee and donuts for a week or two. I think i’ll make a blog post about how to fool people into giving more money. Anyways, so all that a pastor has to do is make sure his people know that tithing is important to your relationship with God, and then make sure that you have lots of people. On the other hand, if you had Spirit-led giving, you couldn’t get away with that. A pastor would need to make sure that his people are in a right and full relationship with God. Once they were in that position, then the giving would follow suit. Not only that it verifies that the church leadership is going in a direction that the people are being called by the Spirit to pay for.

So why is giving down? Maybe it’s because pastors are less concerned with the relationship that their congregation has with God and are more concerned with keeping their empire flourished. I don’t know. For those of you out there, that are just gritting your teeth about my attitude towards pastors, just take a deep breath, because i greatly recognize that many pastors have kept their church on the right track.

Why should it matter that the economy is bad or that gas is $5 a gallon. If the people of God are right with God then why should our giving struggle?

Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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34 comments on “Why is Giving Down?
  1. Melissa says:

    Preachers should not “require” anything. Moreover, one should be careful of a preacher that “requires” tithing. Tithing is a personal practice between the tither and God. To say that it is done away with through the blood of Jesus, is where we disagree. Tithing, for me, has strengthened my faith in God. It has afforded me tangible evidence of how God “makes ways” . As a result, my ENTIRE SPIRITUAL LIFE has been strengthened in ways that are not as measurable as finances.

  2. freewillgiver says:

    Mellissa your understanding of tithes as voluntary is uncommon. Most U.S. Christians who use the word tithe think it to mean somthing like this

    “10% of all Christian money to the local church. Pastors spend the tithes and members of church pay or they are in sin”

    Becase most Christians think this even if a pastor belevies in a free system of tithing when the tithe envelope comes around the Christian still feels

    “10% of all Christian money to the local church. Pastors spend the tithes and members of church must pay or they are in sin”
    Mellissa do you see my point? The tithe of Abraham if he gave freely is an example of a voluntary tithe.

    Abraham gave not under the law of moses and his gift might have been voluntary However the Law of moses tithes were not voluntary. There was no tithe of money and the poor did not pay.

    The tithes as understood by most U.S. evangelical Christians makes no exeption for the poor and consist of money although there was no tithe of money because all tithes were eaten by somone.

    The phrase “eat the tithe” is found many times in the Bible but I have never heard a message on it. The weirdest scripure on tithing is in Deuteronomy 14 where tithes are also “wine and strong drink”
    Have you ever heard of the beer tithe?

    All Christians are priest so there should be only voluntary giving from one priest to another. “Ye are a chosen generation a royal priesthood”

    I think the word tithe should be retired and substuted with giving or offering because these words are less loaded.

    What do you think?

  3. Melissa says:

    A tithe simply means a tenth. The Bible is a spiritual book. It is plain to those who are led by God’s Spirit. It is not possible for the man to understand it without the spirit (I Corinthians 2:14) so, “retiring” or “substituting” words will do no good. What do you think?

  4. Christopher says:

    Acts 2:44-5 we should use ALL our surplus resources to help the truly needy

    Acts 6:3 give to people we trust so its not wasted

    Global communication enables me to give to Christian missionaries I know personally in India & Africa

    I don’t give much to secular charities as they get donations from secular sources

  5. randy says:

    I see those who believe (and practice) in tithing today, by their tithing alone, cause uneasyness, disturbance and often offense to those who believe, teach and preach against the practice of tithing (today) and the people who testify about tithing — Of course, there are those who preach tithing as the teaching of UTMOST IMPORTANCE in their ministry — we can consider (judge their acts) them straight as materialistic, or maybe just hungry and or totally needy, because their living expenses or their existence are dependent totally on their tithe take — many of us have these kind of experiences with such Christian preachers and teachers. On the other hand, those who are tithing must not be offended in anyway by those who hold the view that any kind or form of tithing is not scriptural today (in the Church) for the truth sets people free. The truth is, tithing was done by people of faith. It was done before the laws of Moses by people who have faith to honor to worship God. When the law given, tithing became a command (a national law) to all Israelites. Now in the New Testament, when Jesus walked the earth, did he practice tithing? — we all know he did. Did he teach tithing to his disciples or did he teach against practising it? — again, we know what Jesus did. Now, after Jesus ascended to heaven, and the disciples were left, did they Apostles teach against tithing? — we can find no scriptural basis if ever they did. So we cannot presume and hold to any view or reason that indeed the disciples did cease in the practise tithing. It is same to assume, that what Jesus taught them, they faithfully continued. What about the Apostle to the gentiles? – Did he (Apostle Paul) tithe or not? Did he teach for it or against it? Or more importantly did he contradicted (directly or indirectly) any teaching of the other Apostles regarding tithing in the Church or tithe giving? — Materialistic preachers and teachers, with all their ministry abuses, their personal hunger in ministering, with all their just and unjust reasons for preaching, teaching, emphasizing, collecting, demanding, etc. on tithes, whether to practise it or not — does not change the fact that people (who have faith) of the scriptures, before the law, under the law and not, in the Old or in the New Testament — THIS IS THE TRUTH that is timeless — the people who have faith, people who honored and served God gave their tithe. Should we do it today? Should we practise tithing now in our lives? Should we speak for the practise of it? – or should we deny it, speak and teach against it? – – – We all know the answer that stands the test of time — for that is the truth of God. Many hold to a wrong view of 2 Cor 9:7 which I here quote “..as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give..”. Before they quote this verse 7 for their good reasons and genuine intentions, they must read verse 1 first of Chapter 9 – the topic or issue of the Chapter 9, is not about tithing, but of giving, helping ministering to the saints (brethren). Giving, helping and ministering to brethren must be a decision of the heart — if I give a brother a drink, plus a sumptuous meal it must be my own decision. If others give not just food, they buy brethren groceries, it must be their heart’s decision — I cannot comment on their heart’s decision. Now, if some others brethren, give the poor saint (or saints) shelter, lodging for the week, and clothes … or job, or business, or all of their savings — one thing is definite, in helping the brethren, it must be the decision of one’s heart. The Lord will bless those who give a penny or a quarter, equally as those who help their brethren with their life’s excessiveness provided in comes from the good decision of their own free will. Quoting the freedom or liberty cited in verse 7 and applying its teaching to tithing is entirely off the scope and issue of the whole chapter. We are all wise in life and in reason being not babes in the matters of scriptural faith. May our collective wisdom be a constant light that shines bright to help others find truth in the dark and confused communities God has placed us to be for His purpose.

  6. Nice work. I hope all of you will be encouraged to continue to speak out about this issue both in your local churches, in public and in private. It was for liberty that Christ set us free and the principles which the Apostle Paul gave us for finances require maturity and accountibilty to God, just as it should be in Christ for those who obey the law of love. A real Christian knows real ministry and understands that all we have is a gift from God. Ministers have a right to expect support from the Body but not the right to demand it and certainly not without accountibility. Where the Spirit of God is there is liberty!

  7. Ministers have the right to expect suffering. The best ministers like missionarys, expect the most suffering. A real ministry is everything that Christ accomplishes in every Christian everyday.

    If a minister expects payment from another minister for service to Christ is that not an implied demand. Christians should expect to give not expect to be served.

    Christ came to serve an expected constant suffering. So should Christian leaders.

  8. Chad says:

    Just wanted to throw in something that I have seen anyone mention yet in regards to the tithe. For all that say tithing isn’t a New Testament practice, I beg to differ. In Hebrews 7:8, we are told that here on earth, men receive the tithe, but in Heaven, Jesus receives the tithe. The tithe continues to supply the natural earthly needs of the local church (enabling for ministry to take place: salaries, utilities, facilities, along with meeting needs of those in need) and yet is also credited to our account spiritually. It’s simply honoring God with what He has given us.

  9. Chad,
    There is nothing that says Jesus receives tithes in “heaven”. Most translation will translate it this way, “Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them”. the terms ‘here’ and ‘there’ are NOT referring to ‘earth’ and ‘heaven’.

    There’s not doubt the Church has needs, but those needs should be met through Spirit-led giving.

    I believe that since the Holy Spirit calls ministries, then the Holy Spirit is quite capable of calling others to support the ministry. If the Holy Spirit does not need assistance from the Old Testament to require ministers to lead, then the Holy Spirit does not need requirements through tithing to anoint others to support them.

    2 Corinthians 1:21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

    1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you £will abide in Him.

    – jared

  10. Suzie says:

    Pastors conveniently skip right pass Paul the Apostle and founder of the Gentile Church’s instruction on giving (he never said to tithe). It is in 2nd Corinthians 9:7
    Let each man give as he decides (purposes) in his own heart.

    There are hundreds of Old Covenant laws in Leviticus and seven Jewish Feast why are they not promoted like tithing? I have yet to meet many Christians that go to a Priest to have their male infants circumcised by a Priest in a Temple on the eight day of their life. I have yet to see mainstream Christians observe the Sabbath day. The majority of Christians according to a recent Pew Pollster did not even know when the Sabbath begins (Friday night time till Saturday night-time no activity, not even driving!)

    Abraham is a poor example of a tither since he only gave a one time tenth without any command from God to do so. I am not against tithing, I am however for giving to support your Church where you have placed your membership, however the payment that insures your favor (Grace & Unmerited favor) is because of the payment Jesus made on the Cross after he said Paid in full!

    Romans 8:32 “Since God did not spare his own Son but gave Him up for us all he will surely with Him (Jesus), F-R-E-E-L-Y give us all things! 33 who can bring a charge against God’s elect…
    Yet they sure bring a charge against you if you don’t have that 10 percent on the Gross!

  11. Tim says:

    The Lord wants us to give from our hearts. All of the money is His anyway…we are just stewards of the funds He allows us to have. If we do not have the right attitude about giving back to Him what is already His, He does not want it or need it.
    However, if we have the right heart and give with joy and liberality, He will take whatever that amount is…and multiply it several times over!
    God has put us here for one reason…the to tell others about His salvation for all. If we are not using all our resources to bring the gospel to all the ethnic groups around the world, we are dishonoring Him! We have a lot of work to do!

  12. kimber says:

    can not pay bills like gas water light they will shut off but you your tithing

  13. Tom says:

    Why giving is going down in the church? I learned the story of a pastor from Kosovo, a small country in Europe which belonged to the former Yugoslavia. This pastor used to travel across Europe, visiting every church he could get and telling them how poor they were. Every church believed everything that this pastor was telling them. And later you could see on photographs the pastor’s teenaged son sitting amid a cluster of high-end computers doing some multimedia tasks for that so-called “poor” church. This teenager had possibilities that no other child in that church had – just because he was the son of the pastor. Why is giving going down? Because the wealth that is re-distributed in churches doesn’t go to everyone, but only to a very small privileged group.

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