Getting Creative With Tithing
In October 2008, my church pastor challenged the congregation to tithe for three months. We took the challenge. At the time tithing was a big leap of faith for me and my husband. The week after our first tithe I lost my job causing a large financial blow to our budget. However, we knew that all of our possessions and money belong to God and giving 10 percent of our gross income should be done no matter what our circumstances.
We made a decision to continue tithing and to adjust our budget to allow us to give to God first. We have had tight weeks financially even with a budget. There have been times where we have said, ‘I don’t know how were are going to pay for this doctor’s visit’ and then we’ll receive a check for the right amount. Since we started tithing I truly have seen what Matthew 6:28-31 (NIV) states. “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you. O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” We constantly remind ourselves of those Bible verses.
Our pastor talks about tithing several times a year and it seems as though many churches are trying to get more creative when it comes to encouraging tithing. I recently came across information about reverse tithing. After realizing they were going to be in the red, St. Andrew Church in Milford, Ohio held a “Reverse Tithing Sweepstakes” in which church members purchased raffle tickets for $50 and within a month and a half they raised $55,000. The sweepstakes gave the congregation a chance to receive back 10 percent of what everyone else gave. The first place prize was $5,500 and 10 prizes of $550 were awarded as part of the raffle.
Another church in Alabama gave away $50,000 to its members, but there was a trick. They couldn’t spend it one themselves or give it back to the church. They called it a “Faith Stimulus Package.” In these tough economic times, it seems any creative ideas can help a church continue to thrive. To view a video from St. Andrew Church, click on the attached link.