Just over a year ago, our little congregation found itself in rather disturbing financial condition. Frankly, some of us wondered whether or not we’d lose the building and property within the coming year. It looked rather challenging, one might say. Another one might say our chances of making it through our financial crisis resembled those of a snowball in a place one hears of from time to time in church.
Circumstances and chances notwithstanding, we resolved to trust the Lord and continue seeking his will and serving him. And to tighten our belt in regard to monetary matters.
When our elders and deacons met in the first week of November and got the monthly treasurer’s report, we found that we were in better shape than we expected. We immediately devoted part of that to our benevolence fund. When we met again in December, we found ourselves in even better shape. Way better shape! As we discussed the change with excited and grateful hearts, one of our elders suggested that we ought to put our gratitude into tangible expression.
“We’ve been blessed far more than we could imagine,” he stated calmly but with conviction, “Last year at this time we were afraid we might lose this building. Now we find ourselves in far better shape than I ever expected.” He paused for a second or two and looked around the table at each person, “I think we should give a tithe to the Lord.”
Most often, when modern day believers think about tithing, they think about giving to their church, their congregation or denomination. How does a church give an offering? Some do it by tithing to their denomination. That wasn’t what this fellow had in mind.
“I’d like for us to give a tenth of our church balance to benevolence; whatever we have at the end of the year we give to the poor to show the Lord that we appreciate what he has done for us.”
There was immediate positive reaction from every other elder and all the deacons. We decided that even though we were going to use a considerable portion of the money to help complete the building and do some other outreach projects, we were going to base our tithe on the balance we had before those other things were done.
We’re not going to bring any huge financial change to anyone’s life, I guess. But by God’s grace and blessing, a few folks will know that the Lord has been thinking about them and has prompted us to give those thoughts more tangible expression.