Have you ever asked yourself, “Where should I give my tithe? I don’t have a church!” or “Is there a specific time-frame for paying my tithe?” Read Ashley and Carlie’s answers to these common questions regarding where and when we should tithe.
“Where should I tithe?”
Senior pastors of churches usually say, “The tithe should go to your local church!” Then we might hear traveling teachers, prophets or evangelists say, “You have to tithe where you’re fed!” As a result, there can be this tension between, “Well, do I tithe to my local church, or tithe where I’m fed?” Well, you should be fed at your local church! If you’re fed at your church, then there’s no problem, right? You tithe to your church.
So, what happens if you’re in a church that’s not feeding you? There are a couple reasons for this. Perhaps you feel you can change the “dead” church from the pews. However, that’s nearly impossible and usually leads to a church split or rebellion. As a member of the congregation, you don’t have the authority to do that because the pastor has that authority as the church shepherd. It’s never a good idea to go into a church with the idea that you will bring change.
“There isn’t a good church near me!”
Many times, people want church to be absolutely perfect, when in reality it doesn’t need to be for them to benefit from having a church family. Is doctrine important? Of course, it is, and we certainly don’t want to compromise on those things we believe are true, such as the baptism of the Holy Spirit or that it’s always God’s will to heal.
However, we can be part of a church family that believes that Jesus is Lord, that He died on the cross for our sin, and that He’s the only way to heaven—the basics. In families, we don’t always agree with everyone else’s opinion, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t love one another. But don’t allow things like, “I don’t like the praise and worship there,” or “The Word is good, but the coffee stinks,” or “I wish they would allow the Holy Spirit to flow more,” keep you from being blessed by, and being a blessing to, a church family unified by the love of God.
If we have a solid foundation from our own personal relationships with God, it takes all the pressure off. We don’t have to hear the perfect sermon or have all our doctrine in the same place to love one another and be part of a church family. Ultimately, you should be going to a church so that you can give, plug in, be part of a community of believers, serve and be a blessing. If you don’t know which church to go to, pray and ask the Holy Spirit. He will show you!
Give Where You Are Fed
The optimum situation would be to have a church family and be fed there at the same time. However, if there is literally no local church that is even remotely life-giving, you don’t need to rely on a pastor to teach you. You can get the Word of God for yourself and the Holy Spirit can teach you. If there is not a church nearby, there are plenty of opportunities to be fed by local churches that livestream their services online through Facebook or YouTube. If that church is feeding you, plant your tithe into that work.
Giving where you are fed is an important principle. Perhaps there is another ministry which truly feeds you. If so, don’t feel that you cannot give your tithe there. The point of the tithe is giving out of your relationship with God and your trust in Him to provide for your needs. So, feel free to give when you have been blessed.
Ashley tithes to his church, but there have been times when he was really blessed by a ministry and sent an offering because of one particular message. But this is regarding offerings—giving that is in addition to the tithe. So, give where you are fed, but the tithe should belong to your church.
“When should I tithe?”
These are instructions from the apostle Paul of how to take up the tithes and offerings of the church:
“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” — 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
In modern Western society, Sunday is the first day of the week. A great time to give your tithes is when you go to church on Sunday. Here, Paul was telling the Corinthian church to gather up their giving and set it aside until he came, but we do things a little differently today. If you go to church once a week, that’s the best time to give. If you are paid monthly, perhaps you will only give your tithes once a month. However, don’t personally store up your tithes, because many times you’ll end up spending it! Give your tithe when it first comes in so that you have it to give.
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” — 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
Tithing is a Privilege
Remember, tithing is a positive thing, not an obligation. Tithing is about God getting stuff to you—about God opening His windows of heaven and blessing you! So, never consider the tithe as though it’s a debt that you owe. We don’t have to tithe: we get to tithe! And, praise God, God will use your 90% and increase it!
If this is the first article you are reading in our series on tithing, we encourage you to go back to the beginning! Start with our article entitled Is Tithing for Today?
How to Attack Lack
There is so much more to say regarding tithing and giving that we cannot fit in a short blog. However, we encourage you to watch or listen to our teaching entitled How to Attack Lack. From this 20-part series, you will learn so much more on how to deal the knock-out blow to limited finances!