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Tithing is first mentioned in Genesis 14:20, but it is not unique to the Old Testament or Mosaic Law. Tithing has been found as a key principle in the history of the Arabians, Carthaginians, Lydians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Mohamedans. This tithe was a one tenth portion of income or resources.
In Leviticus 27:30-32, a tithe was given annually for the support of the local priesthood. This is similar today to our church budget. The second kind of tithe is found in Deuteronomy 12:5-19 and 14:22-27. This tithe underwrote the expenses of the three major Jewish Festivals of Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, and Feast of Weeks. Today, we seldom spend funds for any kind of religious celebration except infrequent banquets and fellowships. The third tithe is identified in Deuteronomy 14:28-29 and 26:12-15. This tithe was taken every third year for local communities to help the needy. Today this need is addressed by government programs, public charities like United Way, and benevolent and mission giving. So, each year the prescribed tithe amounted to 23 1/3% income before any buildings or special offerings.
The passages in Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, Luke 18:12, and Hebrews 7:4-9 do not constitute a major teaching. As a matter of fact, Jesus does not teach about tithing; but He does not repeal the tithing either. He affirms its importance to discipleship and faithfulness to God. Paul and John also do not provide specific teaching about the tithe, but they do address the issues of attitude and motives for giving. The major teaching about giving in the New Testament has to do with the support of the Christian saints in Jerusalem through a special over and above kind of gift.
In a Capital Stewardship Program there are at least two foundational passages that give guidelines for over-and-above giving. The first is 1 Chronicles 29:1-9 where David raises the resources necessary to build the temple. The second is 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 where Paul challenges the church leaders in Corinth about an over-and-above commitment for a specific need. He also identifies the profound spiritual motivation for this kind of giving.
Unlike other organizations, The Christian and Missionary Alliance does not require its missionaries to raise their own support. Instead, missionaries and their ministries are financed through what we call The Great Commission Fund (GCF). C&MA church members and friends give to this fund regularly.
• It supports the most-significant cause in history: reaching lost people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
• It places missionaries in their countries of service quickly.
• It frees up missionaries to concentrate on their ministries instead of on raising funds.
• It develops a stronger team spirit among missionaries on the field.
• It insures that well-qualified missionaries (not just good fundraisers) are sent to the mission field.
Because of the GCF:
• Every two minutes, someone prays to receive Christ through the worldwide outreach of Alliance ministries.
• Every hour, three patients, many of them ravaged by AIDS, receive physical and spiritual care through C&MA medical work.
• Every day via 43 radio broadcasts, people who have had no gospel witness hear the good news.
• Every week, nearly 3,000 new believers are baptized.
• Every month, 253 churches and church groups join the worldwide Alliance family.
• Every year, 9,635 students are trained and equipped for ministry through 125 overseas Alliance theological schools.
Many individuals give to the GCF by a Faith Promise made through their local churches. Some people give one-time gifts. Other people give regularly through our secure online giving site. And still others give through their estate, utilizing the services of The Orchard Foundation.
Stewardship ministry is a high calling from God. Yet some Christians view fundraising activities as “unspiritual.” The chart below reminds us that fundraising has always been a significant part of ministry. The list of fundraisers in Scripture is a “Who’s Who” of great Bible heroes.
If you take time to go through these scriptures and examine the methods used, you will likely find fresh encouragement for your work. As you look to the Lord and His Word, you’ll gain new insights on how to become a more effective Christian leader and fundraiser. And next time you’re involved in a fundraising activity, remember that you’re in great company!
It is a tried and proven pattern of giving done by godly people throughout the ages (regardless of cultures and income levels).
Genesis 14:17-20,28:16-22; Leviticus 27:30; Proverbs 3:9-10, Malachi 3:7-15; Matthew 2 3:23
It will help them reverence God more in their lives. Deuteronomy 14:23
It will bring God’s wisdom and order to their finances and will help harness the dragon of materialism in their lives.
Matthew 6:19-21,24-34; Luke 12:16-21; 1 Timothy 6:6-10,17-10; Ecclesiastes 5:10
It will serve as a practical reminder that God is the owner of everything.
I Chronicles 29:11-18; Psalm 24:1-2: Psalm 50:10-12; Haggai 2:8
It will allow them to experience God’s creative care and provision in ways they would not otherwise experience. I Kings 17; Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:7-15, Haggai 1:4-11, 2:15-19; Luke 6:38; Deuteronomy 28: Philippians 4:15-19; Mark 12:41-44
It will encourage spiritual growth and trust in God.
Deuteronomy 14:23; Proverbs 3:5-6; Malachi 3:8-10; Haggai 1:4-11, 2:15-19; II Corinthians 8:5
It will ensure them treasure in heaven.
I Timothy 6:18-19; Matthew 6:19-21; Hebrews 6:10; I John 8:1; Samuel 30:22
It will strengthen the ministry, outreach, and stability of their local churches.
Acts 2:42-47, 4:32; 11 Corinthians 9:12-13
It will help provide the means to keep their pastors and missionaries in full-time Christian service.
I Corinthians 9:9-11,14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; III John 5-8; Philippians 4:15-19; Galatians 6:6; Luke 8:3; II Kings 4:8-10
It will help to accomplish needed building projects and renovations.
II Chronicles 24:4-14; Exodus 35,36; II Kings 12:2-16; I Chronicles 29:2-19; Ezekiel 1:4-6