Summary: How to Teach People to Tithe and Why Some Will Resent It
How to Teach People to Tithe (and Why Some Will Resent It)
Teaching To Tithe
A cartoon shows a fellow in the cemetery holding flowers. The epitaph on the stone before him reads: “Eternally peeved at those who never showed me how to tithe.”
That may well happen.
Since our Lord said giving as He taught means laying up treasure in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), it follows that some in Heaven are going to be poorer for not having done that.
What does it mean to “be poorer in Heaven”? I don’t have a clue.
But there it is.
The bottom line is simply that some spiritual leaders (pastors and teachers) are failing to teach stewardship and will be in trouble when they stand before the Lord. That should matter to us.
The ministries of the Lord Jesus here on earth are weaker and fewer because of the failure of the Lord’s people to give faithfully, generously and regularly.
Malachi 3:10’s command to “bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” gave as its reason “that there might be provisions (literally, bread) in my house.” This clearly refers to funding the work of the Lord.
(Explanation: God’s Word clearly teaches the disciples of the Lord Jesus are to be givers in all areas of life—to the poor, to the needy, to one another as necessary and to support the work of the Lord. Here, we primarily refer to contributing to the work of Jesus through the church.)
At judgement, will non-giving Christians point the finger of blame at their shepherds and mentors for not teaching them the blessings of sacrificial giving? Will both the non-givers and the teachers who failed them be poorer (somehow, don’t ask me how) in the afterlife as a result?
I wouldn’t be surprised.
Some spiritual disciplines we teach not because they are enjoyable but because they are extremely necessary and eternally profitable, no matter how painful some may find them in the short run.
So, let’s admit the obvious here: The carnally minded in every congregation will reject teachings on sacrificial giving and resent anyone teaching it.
Know this going in, young minister.
If you fail to teach God’s call to generous giving, you disobey the Lord and abandon His people. If you do it well, you strengthen the work of everyone dependent on the pipeline of God’s resources flowing to the world from our churches, you will bless the Lord, you will help your people to lay up treasures in heaven and—here it comes—you will be verbally attacked by those who resent any reference to money from the pulpit.
The typical congregation will expect you to raise money mysteriously. That is, they expect that if you teach the Bible well and preach inspiring sermons, by some unknown way, people will automatically put money in the offering plate and the work of the Lord will go forward. To actually mention money by teaching what Scripture says about it is to fail in some way.