Giving to the Local Church

joelWe don’t take offerings in cells– yet. We’ve talked about it and greatly admire those who do! Most of the largest cell churches in the world do take tithingofferings in the cells and celebration.

Beyond where a person gives (cell or celebration) is whether people are giving at all. At least in North America, giving to the local church is in a dismal state. The latest statistics I have say that 5% of church goers in NA tithe (whether to the local church or missions). And this problem even extends to leadership. I remember talking to one potential church planter who confessed to me that he wasn’t giving/tithing to the local church because he was going through a difficult financial time and his wife didn’t believe in tithing. I asked him about how he was going to exemplify the priority of giving in difficult times to his new congregation. He just shook his head. He didn’t know.

Martin Luther once said, “People go through three conversions: their head, their heart and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not all at the same time.” When a person is ready to give part of their money to God, major values shifts have already taken place in their heart. Making Jesus Lord of our lives includes Lordship of our material possessions.

I know it’s impossible to “require” that church people in general give/tithe. Yet, the essence of leadership is setting forth an example for others to follow. Thus, my questions are these: What kind of “giving” requirements do you have for the leadership of your church–whether cell leaders, elders, or pastoral team members? To be a cell leader does a person have to tithe/give to your church? How about elders? Pastors?

Joel Comiskey

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