Christians can read the same Bible and come to different conclusions about tithing. Some believe that the Bible does teach tithing for Christians today and some disagree. Same Bible, different conclusions. Both love the word of God but both have different positions on this. So…if you don’t teach tithing then simply substitute ‘giving’ or ‘stewardship’ and this series will still relate.
In part one of this six part series, I said that the first reason why teaching on tithing doesn’t work is because so many pastors seldom teach on tithing (or stewardship, or whatever word best describes what you think the Bible has to say about giving). If you believe in tithing but seldom teach on it, how do you expect one sermon a year (some pastors don’t even do that) to do the trick? The reason why the topic of tithing/stewardship is neglected brings us to our second reason.
We are afraid to teach on tithing/stewardship. We’re afraid that visitors will lump us in with the television preachers who are constantly asking for money. We’re afraid that we might offend members of our church who in turn might leave or cause trouble for us. There are legitimate fears. I don’t fault a pastor for worrying about this. Remember, I was a pastor for 28 years. I know these fears.
Jesus talked a lot about money, material possessions, and our attitudes and practices concerning them. Don’t be afraid to talk about tithing/stewardship but do so without coming across as a jerk, heavy-handed, or resorting to guilt and shame. Have you noticed that guilt and shame seldom motivate people to change? I actually believe that many of us need to talk more about money rather than less, and I will unpack that thought in part six.
Coming up next: Teaching on tithing doesn’t work because we wait to do so until the church is in financial trouble and we are mad.
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