I discussed the “T” word this Sunday at New Life. Tithing is a topic that is certainly biblical, but many people question the motives of any pastor who brings up the topic of money. I believe the poor reputation has been earned by pastors and it will take time to regain the respect and credibility of our churches. I believe the church has to prove to people that it will follow the Acts 2 and Acts 4 recipe of local church. People have to trust that church leaders care more about the poor, the widows and the orphans than living excessive lifestyles or building personal church empires. Once church leaders get serious about the ministry of Jesus on the earth, resources will always be available.
The church is the body of Christ and its members are His bride. No good husband would withhold resources from His bride and neither will Christ. In our staff meeting this week, we discussed the economic realities we are facing as a church right now. We are cutting our budgets to make ends meet, but we are not in a panic. We have decided to use this time to really evaluate what we are doing as a church and to make sure we are being wise stewards. We are convinced that our integrous handling of money will earn people’s trust and release heaven’s resources.
So, I will continue to teach on finances and discuss tithing even though it is awkward for some. Primarily, though, I will do all I can to keep my own heart pure and lead our church toward wise stewardship. In the end, I pray that everyone at New Life catches the revelation of generous giving and compassionate serving because both are expressions of true Christ followers.