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.
December 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm
Our 23 year old had just decided to tithe that morning. He has been coming back to the Lord in little steps since he moved back here from California. I had in in my heart to approach him about tithing, since my husband and I really “got” it several years ago. He said after last week’s service how “weird” that the message was tithing, just when he decided to begin. But I said, “No, it was not weird — it was God.” I believe that Christians who continue to tithe and give during this time, will be protected and blessed, much to others amazement.
December 21, 2008 at 9:04 pm
I just wanted to say thank you for talking about such a tough subject. Just a few weeks ago Me and my family were evicted from our apartment. After talking to some family and the holy spirit speaking to me I realized I had better start tithing what we had left. For years I would tithe off and on depending on whether I thought we had enough to do so not because I was truly trusting in God for provision. Since then God is showing himself faithful everyday and he confirmed what he said to me with the wonderful message you gave this week and last week. We still haven’t found something permanent but God is working miraculously in our lives. Thank you for speaking on this in these tough times.
December 25, 2008 at 1:22 am
Pastor Brady, I would like to thank you for your teaching from the past two weeks on standing strong in our troubled economy. Having come from a church where the concept of the tithe and offering were overemphasized and used as a bludgeon to beat the congregation into raising funds, it is a breath of fresh air to hear your perspective on tithing. It is balanced, biblical, and coated in God’s grace. In many ways, your teaching has helped to heal some wounds in my heart concerning the issue.
Thank you, and Merry Christmas!