Sunday, November 28, 2010


This one is primarily for the Church Folk:

I had just given one of my most powerful sermons at the church I started and led in California. It was about the importance of giving and tithing and how changing the way you give and the amount you give can radically change your life. I think people were challenged, motivated and maybe some were even a little frightened by this message.

After the message, we typically had a song or two of response, led by our "worship leader" or "music guy" or whatever title we decided was most appropriate. This week was the same.

Apparently he felt the message was too strong, or he was feeling a little guilty or he just didn't agree, because he jumped up and immediately started to redirect. Before doing the song of commitment to God, he started talking about his idea of how you could give.

You don't have to give your money to God. If you can't afford to give money right now, you can give him your time or some good hard work or a nice deed to the old lady down the street or just some happy thoughts and good vibrations. God loves happy thoughts and good vibrations.

Maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but it was pretty close. He wasn't around for too long after that.

The fact of the matter is that ministry activity takes money. Pastors need to put a roof over their heads, Church buildings need heating and cooling, guitars need new strings, and the list goes on. This need for money is tied to the believer's call to give. Without giving, people's lives are not changed.

Yet, as a former Pastor supported by this system, I sometimes wonder if my view of giving was colored by the needs of the vision I had.

So, I am going to gather my resources and re-look at the topic of giving, tithing and finances for ministry. Perhaps my views will shift. Perhaps not.


Nichole said...

My response while reading:
First section- good times...oh wait..huh?
Last section - preach it!

Andy Allen said...

Interested to hear what thoughts you come up with. My beliefs on this topic have 'shifted' substantially over the years...from what's usually "taught" in churches. It's kind of a conflict of interest, IMHO, because clergy professionals are commissioned to keep the lights on, the mortgage/rent paid and their own salaries covered. As I read it, I'm not sure that benevolence, generosity and giving, the way they are discussed in scripture, are to be done the way most modern preachers insist. Keep us posted on where you land here James.