Holding tithing accountable

The final and most controversial question is how to hold one another accountable in tithing. Do we post a list telling what everyone has given? This is what the person I was talking to proposed. Does the minister keep track of people’s income and question them when they aren’t giving 10%? How do we hold one another accountable?

First, I will tell why I am completely against posting the list. It would have the tendency to create a system where those who gave more would have more, or at least want more, control in the church. I do not see any benefit that would come from it. If you just want to hold one another accountable in giving and you feel the list is the way, then you should just post a list that says who gave their 10% rather than the dollar amounts. Because if someone gave $100 but it was less than their 10% and another gave $10 but it was more than 10%, the latter is more esteemed in God’s eyes and should be more esteemed in ours.

Should a minister hold their members accountable in giving? Should I get a knock on my door when I don’t give 10%? I know of churches that also do this. I’m also not comfortable with it, and I’m a big fan of holding people accountable. I think there is a line between what we hold people accountable to and what we encourage. I don’t hold people accountable to having a personal prayer life, I encourage it. I don’t hold people accountable to reading their Bible, I encourage it. I think giving should fall under the encouragement category rather than the category that includes such things as marital affairs, drug abuse, alcoholism, gossip, a destructive belief and the like.

I think the problem with most churches and giving lies in the fact that churches aren’t using their money in the way God intended, so God, Himself, is not convicting people to give to them. Why would God bless those who are not being a blessing? Too often churches think that being a spiritual blessing is enough. God cares about our physical state as well as our spiritual state. We cannot be right with God spiritually and not be right with him physically. We need to be careful to view our being holistically rather than as different segments.

If a church would use its money in the way God intended them to, they would usually not have a financial problem. They would not have to punish the people who were not giving their 10%. People would be giving above and beyond. Christians wants to join in a cause that is actually helping people holistically, physically as well as spiritually. Living on the fringe of mainstream Christianity, I know many Christians who don’t give their offering to churches because churches just waste God’s money. They find projects that are loving and use it for them. The church should find projects that are loving. People would be more than willing to join in. Churches are dropping the ball on this one. I’m sure it saddens Gods.

And one final comment. Don’t relegate the loving ministries of a church to special offerings. What you say by doing this is that loving isn’t the most important thing in our budget. What a church commits to financially is what a church is about. If you place a building or a paid minister above loving acts, then you are placing two things that are not Scriptural mandates above one that is. A church’s priority needs to be love.

If you’re part of a church that has a financial problem, the question isn’t, “How can we get people to give more?” The question should be, “How can we rearrange our spending and be more loving with the money we already have?” I firmly believe that God blesses those who are a blessing to others. It’s time for the church to wake up and become a blessing.

Watch out for potholes.