Should a member always give his/her tithe to the church s/he has a membership in?
Or would it be perfectly okay for that person to use that tithe to, say provide a warm meal to many homeless people, or some other cause?
I’m not a Methodist or a pastor. I’d say your tithe goes to your local church….and then you are perfectly welcome to give additional offerings to any other church, parachurch organization, charity, cause, or individual you wish to support. The more generous…the better. God doesn’t need our money. He wants us to give because it’s a way we direct our heart towards Him and the things He values. Andy Stanley’s teaching on this idea has had a big impact on me.
Steve, I completely agree with you that the tithe goes to the church that you have a membership in..
Thanks for your comment.
Hi Joseph,having been through this question myself,I learnt a lot through Andrew Wommack,who has lots of free mp3’s and teaching articles on his website,all are free.Here is one of his articles,hope it helps.God Bless,Mike.
Sowers And Eaters
By Andrew Wommack
• Single tape
Once during ministry in Decatur, Texas, at River of Life Church where my good friends, Greg and Janice Mohr, pastor, something happened that I need to share. We had great meetings with many healings, salvations, and baptisms in the Holy Spirit. On the final night of the three-service meeting, Pastor Greg really encouraged the people to give sacrificially toward our new building.
First of all, I’m amazed that a pastor would be encouraging his people to give big to a traveling minister. Most pastors would see this as money leaving their churches. But Pastor Greg is a man of integrity, and he knows giving is the key to receiving. Praise God for men and women of God who have pure hearts.
He was urging this crowd of 300+ people to give $100,000 toward our new building. He turned to 2 Corinthians 9:10 and emphasized that God provides seed to sowers. He knew people might not have that kind of money right then but said if they would make a commitment to become sowers, God would give them the finances to sow.
To lead the way, Greg and Janice made a $1,000 commitment of their own finances toward the building. They didn’t have the money at the time, but they were willing to give when the Lord gave them the seed. They made a pledge that when God supplied, they would give.
The next morning, I stopped by the church to pick up my remaining tapes and books, and Pastor Greg was all excited. He owned five plots of land that he had been trying to sell for three years. At 8 a.m. that morning, he received a call saying that it looked like the lots had sold. Praise the Lord! How’s that for a fast answer to prayer!
Greg was telling me that this was not only something for Janice and him, but he thought there were a lot of my partners in the same situation. They wanted to be a part of getting this new facility debt free, but they just didn’t have the money that they would like to give. He was telling me, “If they will make a pledge to sow some money into this project, the Lord will give them the seed to sow.”
I’ve done a lot of thinking about this in the weeks since then, and I feel like the Lord has increased my revelation on sowing finances. I want to share some of that revelation with you.
Second Corinthians 9:10 says,
“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;”
This verse says that God gives seed to sowers and bread to eaters. These terms are being used metaphorically to talk about how God gives extra to people who are givers and supplies the basic needs of eaters.
Eaters are those who are using their finances primarily for their needs. Sowers are those who use their finances primarily to give to others. This is about the attitude of the heart toward giving. Those who desire more money so they can get more “stuff” are eaters. Those who desire more money so they can give more are sowers.
Of course, sowers have to eat too. So, as the money flows through, there is always plenty for you. But those who are only seeking to get their needs met, will only get their needs met. They won’t have the abundance that comes with being a giver.
This answers a lot of questions. Eaters are always focused on what they need, and therefore, God doesn’t give them an over-abundance. They would just spend it on themselves. Just two verses prior to the verse we are studying, Paul said,
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”
Notice that the reason God makes grace abound toward you is so you may abound unto every good work. Prosperity is not for you. It’s so you may bless others. That’s a radical thought.
Many people believe prosperity is all about greed, and that’s why they oppose it. But true Bible prosperity is so you can be a blessing to others. The attitude that says “I’ve got enough. I would never ask for more” is the wrong attitude. That’s selfish. That shows the attitude of an eater, not a sower.
If you are a sower, God will bless you with a super abundance of finances that will more than supply your need and enable you to give as you desire. Second Corinthians 9:10 says God gives seed to sowers, so it’s accurate to say that if you are short of seed (finances), then you are not sowing like you should. God will see to it that sowers have money to abound unto every good work.
Ephesians 4:28 says,
“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”
This verse says that the reason we should work is so that we can give to those that have need. That’s amazing! Most people would say the reason we should work is so that we can pay our bills and provide for our needs. But that’s not what this scripture says. The purpose for us working is so that we can bless others.
I can just hear someone saying, “But what about me? Doesn’t God want me to be blessed too?” Of course He does. But the way to blessing isn’t in trying to meet your needs. It’s in meeting the needs of others.
Matthew 6:33 says,
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
When we put sowing ahead of eating, God gets involved in our finances and meets our every need. In fact, God will take better care of you than you would take of yourself. Just look at what the Lord is preparing for you in heaven. You will live in a mansion. The streets are paved with pure gold. The gates are pearls, and the foundations of the city are precious stones. No one on earth lives in such luxury. God is El Shaddai, not El Cheapo.
The thing that is hindering most of our prosperity is the fact that we tend to be eaters instead of sowers. We’re like a dam that wants to block the flow instead of a river that lets the water pass through. If God can get money through us, He will get it to us. This is a powerful truth.
If you can look at all your assets and say “I produced all of this,” then you haven’t tapped into God’s abundance yet. When you put God’s kingdom first, the Lord will prosper you supernaturally. And it will be abundant.
Jamie and I have given away a lot of cars. We didn’t do it to get cars back. We did it because we are sowers, and we like to bless people. It really is more blessed to give than to receive. But as we put first the kingdom of God by giving to others, God has supernaturally taken care of us. We’ve had people buy new cars for us for the last 14 years. And these are nice cars. They are nicer than we would have bought for ourselves if we would have been limited to our personal income.
I’ve had people criticize me for driving nice cars. But what am I supposed to do, refuse the free nice cars and spend more money on something not as nice so I could look humble? That’s not humble; that’s stupid.
When God gets involved in your finances, it will be embarrassing. If you aren’t sometimes embarrassed at the way God takes care of you, then you haven’t moved into God’s abundance yet. Our Father gets pleasure out of blessing you (Ps. 35:27).
I’ve made an audio teaching entitled “Sowers and Eaters.” This teaching goes into much more than what I’ve been able to share in this article. I believe it could change the way you view giving, and it could bring you into God’s abundance.
I agree with Steve, a tithe goes to the local church and then you are welcome (encouraged even) to give above and beyond that to other worthy causes.
What has led you to determine that the tithe should go to the local church? Maybe that is worth a blog post.
I would encourage people to give their tithe to the local church and give additionally to other ministries/persons as they see fit. The question, remains, however, why the local church first? To provide a brief thought, I would view such giving as a commitment to God’s mission in the local community–providing gifts to the local church enables and furthers the ministry to and for the people in that city. As such, financial discipleship is part of the life of the local body. The tithe as it is described in the Old Testament was brought to the Temple for redistribution to the poor. How do our local congregations serve today in similar, and perhaps expanded, capacities?
I have been trying to figure out how and what is the correct way to tithe, My husband and I was paying our tithe to the church that we have our membership and he dicided that we should give what is purpose in our hearts to give so we have not beening 10th we made a big difference in tithing in the church. I need to know the right way to tithe so we can do the right thing and stop looking like an eater. Please send a reply with scriptures and let us know should i give all my tithe to the church or give a portion. Should i sow the overage outside the church or inside the church it need is there.
whether a tithe should go to a church or not — scripture wise, I can’t really point out anything. Although, the mentions of tithes, if I’m not mistaken, went to the priesthood. In those days, there weren’t other local charities you could give to.
Since you’re asking, I would say that your tithe should go to your church. But take into consideration, that this is coming from a pastor.
But we don’t give to the church, per se. Giving enables the church to continue on the mission and vision God has for your church. You’re not giving to a building or a person(s). But you’re giving to a vision and a mission. Does that help?
But, also, let me say that 10% is, in no way, the cap.
As John Wesley said,
earn all you can
give all you can
save all you can.
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