What does the Bible really teach about the subject of giving—supporting the poor, tithes and offerings?
You might be surprised to learn that common church practice is often far from what we read of in the New Testament.
In this post, I'll take you through the entire Bible to show you what the Scriptures really teach about giving.
I've also included a free bonus download on how church giving should work, according to the Bible. Be sure and grab this free resource; it's some of my best teaching.
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Click below to download my free bonus PDF on how church giving should work.
GOD is a Giver
The best starting place for any spiritual study is to look at GOD. In every way, GOD wants you and me to imitate His character. He wants us to be like Him because that is what is best for us. And when it comes to giving, GOD once again sets the supreme example.
What would you say if I asked you what the first gift ever given was?
The answer is found in two passages:
All who dwell on the earth will worship [the beast of the sea], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
(Rev. 13:8 NKJV)
[Jesus] indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
(1 Pet. 1:18 NKJV)
Before the fall of man—even before creation—GOD gave Himself up to die for us. When GOD decides something will happen, it is as though it already has happened. Such is the case with Jesus. He was the first gift given.
At this, we echo Paul's beautiful praise:
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
(2 Cor. 9:15 NIV)
The gift of Jesus is certainly the most important and valuable of gifts, but it would be unfair to GOD's greatness to stop here.
An exhaustive study of GOD's giving throughout the Bible would indeed be very exhausting, because it covers every page. So let's choose a few verses to illustrate GOD's giving nature:
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
(Acts 17:24-28 NIV)
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
(Matt. 7:11 NIV)
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
(Matt. 5:44-45 NIV)
30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
(Matt. 6:30-33 NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ... 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
(Rom. 8:28-32 NIV)
Giving in the Old Testament
Prior to the Law of Moses
Beginning in Genesis, the first human example of giving we find is Cain and Abel in Gen. 4.
Cain brought GOD an offering from the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought an offering of the firstborn of his flock and their fat (Gen. 4:3-4).
GOD respected Abel's offering because it was "better" than Cain's (Heb. 11:4), perhaps indicating that Cain didn't offer his best to GOD or his heart wasn't engaged. It is interesting to note that the Bible doesn't tell us that this offering was required or requested by GOD. Regardless, Abel's gift achieved the desired result (GOD's approval) and Cain's did not.
It is also important to note that the Hebrew word for "offering" in Gen. 4:3 can also be translated "gift." Throughout the Scriptures, the concepts of giving, sacrifices and offerings are virtually interchangeable.
In Genesis 14, we are introduced to the concept of tithing.
Abraham gave a tithe (a tenth) to Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of GOD, of the goods he captured during the rescue mission of Lot and his family from the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah who took them captive as the kings fled during a battle (Gen. 14:5-20; Heb. 7:1-2). This tithe was not requested or required by GOD, but was as a result of a vow Abraham had made, according to the Scriptures.
The second example of tithing is found in Genesis 28.
Abraham's grandson Jacob receives a promise from GOD in a dream as He stood atop the ladder with angels ascending and descending.
GOD promised to be with him and bring him back to the land of Canaan and never to leave him. When Jacob arose, he vowed to GOD to give a tithe to Him if He would do as He promised (Gen. 28:20-22).
Again, GOD did not request nor require this gift of Jacob. Jacob vowed it of his own free will as a means of thanksgiving.
Giving Under the Law of Moses
Many, if not most Bible students know that Israel was required to tithe under the Law of Moses.
But what specifically were they told to tithe?
In short, GOD required tithes of food offerings, grain, wine, olive oil, wool, annual field produce, and a special triennial tithe to storage in their towns. These tithes were to sustain the Levites, since they were devoted to the priestly work of GOD.
The triennial tithes were to provide for poor or needy travelers, orphans and widows.
1 The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the LORD, for that is their inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them.
3 This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the internal organs and the meat from the head. 4 You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep, 5 for the LORD your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the LORD’s name always.
6 If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the LORD will choose, 7 he may minister in the name of the LORD his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the LORD. 8 He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions.
(Deut. 18:1-8 NIV)
22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. 24 But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), 25 then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. 26 Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. 27 And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.
28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
(Deut. 14:22-29 NIV)
Additional Giving Instructions
Under the Law of Moses, GOD also required Israelites to give (dedicate) their firstborn sons, cattle and sheep on the eighth day (Ex. 22:29b-30).
The firstborn donkey could be redeemed with a lamb, otherwise they were to break its neck.
All firstborn sons were to be redeemed (Ex. 34:19-20).
They were to offer from their grains (Ex. 22:29a), and the firstfruits of their soil (Ex. 23:19a).
Firstborn oxen were not to work, nor firstborn sheep to be sheared. No lame or blind could be offered (Deut. 15:19-23).
They were to give at the three annual feasts in proportion to how GOD blessed them (Deut. 16:16-17). Additional specifics are given regarding offerings at the feasts (Deut. 16:9-12; Lev. 23:9-21; Num. 28:18-31; 29:1-6, 12-38) and for the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:1-28; Num. 29:7-11).
Besides these things, there were special instructions regarding:
- Burnt offerings (Lev. 1:1-17; 6:-13; Num. 28:1-8; Lev. 17:8-9),
- Grain/cereal offerings (Lev. 2:1-16; 6:14-23; Num. 15:1-21),
- Peace offerings (Lev. 3:1-17; 7:11-21, 28-36, 1-7),
- Sin offerings (Lev. 4:1-35; 5:1-13; 6:24-30; Num. 15:29-31),
- Guilt offerings (Lev. 5:14-19; 6:1-7; 7:1-10, 37-38),
- Sabbath offerings (Num. 28:9-10),
- First-of-the-month offerings (Num. 28:11-15), and...
- Unknown murderer offerings (Deut. 21:1-9).
Giving in the New Testament
Jesus lived under and perfectly obeyed the Law of Moses. As the master teacher, He taught us a lot about giving, including:
- Give to those who ask us and don't refuse a borrower (Matt. 5:38-42).
- Do good deeds to be seen by GOD and not men. GOD sees secretly but rewards openly (Matt. 6:1-4).
- Lay up treasure in heaven, not earth. Our heart will be where our treasure is (Matt. 6:19-21).
- Give and it will be given to you in abundance (Luke 6:38).
- GOD knows our needs and will give us what we need (Matt. 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-34).
- Giving our time and money, when we see a need, is part of loving our neighbor—the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
- Don't love your stuff...especially not more than GOD (Mark 10:17-27).
- A Christian, though they may lose their possessions, will receive an abundance because of their brethren who share with them (Mark 10:28-31).
- It's how much our giving impacts us that determines "much" or "little" (Mark 12:41-44).
- Jesus set the example by giving His body and blood (Luke 22:17-20).
- Jesus gave thanks (Luke 22:17, 19).
- It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
- Pay the taxes you owe and give GOD what is His (Matt. 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26).
- Jesus gave us His peace (John 14:27-16:33).
- Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit (John 14:25-26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Acts 2:38-39).
Giving Under the New Covenant
Jesus died on the day of Passover.
Three days later He arose.
For forty days the resurrected Jesus was seen by His disciples (Acts 1:3).
Prior to His ascension, Jesus told the apostles to stay in Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit. Some seven days later, the Jewish feast of Pentecost had arrived, which brought thousands of Jews, "devout men, from every nation" to Jerusalem.
As the apostles were gathered together in a room, the Holy Spirit made a grand entrance with the sound of a great wind, filling the room. Tongues of fire sat upon each of them and the Holy Spirit filled them, and they began speaking in other known languages (Acts 2:1-4).
Hearing these uneducated Galileans speaking foreign languages caught the attention of the crowd and they began to ask how this could be possible. When mockers accused them of being drunk, Peter stood up and preached Jesus.
At the conclusion of his words, the crowd was cut to the heart because they had killed the Son of GOD. They asked what could possibly be done. Peter answered:
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
(Acts 2:38b-39 NIV)
About 3,000 people heeded the gospel and were baptized to have their sins washed by Jesus' blood.
These people didn't return to their homes and jobs and lives in the lands they were living in. Rather, they stayed in Jerusalem to learn more about this Jesus they had committed to follow (Acts 2:41-43). This presented a problem—a good problem, but a problem nonetheless: How were these brand new believers going to survive?
They needed food, shelter and clothes—the day-to-day necessities.
Following the teachings of Jesus, the new Christians shared with one another, selling possessions and goods, and hosting each other for meals and celebrating their new life in Jesus (Acts 2:44-47).
This pattern continued for some period of time there in Jerusalem (Acts 4:32-5:16, 42-6:7).
But there are always the forces of evil who oppose good.
Resistant Jews killed Stephen and Saul of Tarsus took up the cause of persecuting Christians (Acts 6:8-8:3). The Christians scattered everywhere, but continued preaching Jesus and telling of the miracles they had seen from the apostles. It was during this time that the church began to spread throughout the known world (Acts 8:4).
In Acts 11:19, we find that some who had been persecuted at the time of Stephen's death had traveled to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, preaching only to the Jews.
Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch and, after some time there, went to Tarsus to get Paul, and together they stayed in Antioch for 1 year.
During their time there, a prophet named Agabus came from Jerusalem and told the Christians how there was a coming famine throughout the entire world (Acts 11:27-28).
The Christians there in Antioch then decided to send relief to the Christians in Judea. Paul and Barnabas carried their gift to the elders in Jerusalem (Acts 11:29-30).
Note that, once again, the pattern we see is that a need arose and love prompted the Christians to take up a collection and meet that need.
In Acts 11:27-30, when Agabus prophesied about the famine, the response was not, "Okay, we'll just take some money out of our church treasury and send it down there to Jerusalem."
In Acts 13:1-3, the Holy Spirit called Paul and Barnabas on a journey—what is often referred to as the "first missionary journey"—which took them to Cyprus and what is modern-day central Turkey.
They eventually returned to Antioch where they called the church together and reported on what GOD had done (Acts 14:26-28). This is believed to have happened around 47 A.D.
Some time later, Paul took Silas and set out on what we commonly call the "second missionary journey."
In Acts 18:1-11, we learn that Paul arrived at Corinth, where many obeyed the gospel. It was here that Paul met Aquila and Priscilla, who had been expelled along with all Jews from Rome by Claudius Caesar.
Paul stayed there in Corinth for 18 months. Afterward, Paul journeyed to Ephesus, where Aquila and Priscilla remained behind, and Paul returned to Antioch (Acts 18:18-22).
After what seems to be a short stay in Antioch, Paul sets out on the "third missionary journey." He stayed over two years in Ephesus, where he wrote the letter we know as 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 16:1-4
The letter of 1 Corinthians was not, in actuality, the first letter that Paul had written to the Corinthians (see 1 Cor. 5:9).
Recognizing this fact is crucial to a proper understanding of Paul's instructions on giving in this letter.
Paul had written at least one previous letter to the Corinthians, and they had also written Paul at least once (see 1 Cor. 7:1). In their letter, the Corinthian Christians apparently asked Paul about a number of subjects, evidenced by Paul's frequent statement, "Now concerning..." (1 Cor. 7:1, 25; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1, 12; NKJV). In the letter we entitle 1 Corinthians, Paul is responding to those questions, as well as addressing problems he had become aware of from members of Chloe's household (1 Cor. 1:11).
So when we read 1 Cor. 16:1-4, it is clear that Paul is addressing something the Corinthians had asked him about a collection. Let's look at the text:
1 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.
(1 Cor. 16:1-4 NIV)
Let's note the conclusions we can reach from these verses:
- Paul and the Corinthians had some prior communication about this collection. (More on this shortly.)
- The need, although not explained, was large enough that the churches in Galatia and Corinth knew about it.
- Paul gave the Corinthians and the Galatians the same instructions.
- Paul was coming to Corinth and Galatia soon and was planning a potential trip to Jerusalem afterward.
- Whatever amount they collected, Paul would carry that entire amount to Jerusalem.
- Nothing in these verses speaks to continuous ongoing collections that would continue indefinitely after Paul's departure for Jerusalem.
- There is no mention of withdrawing pre-collected funds from the church treasury for this need which arose.
2 Corinthians 8-9
After the riot in Ephesus that was caused by Demetrius the silversmith, Paul traveled to Macedonia (Acts 19:21-20:1), where he met up with Titus (2 Cor. 2:12-13).
It was during this stay in Macedonia that Paul wrote 2 Corinthians. Paul had sent Titus to Corinth to help fix the problems Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians (2 Cor. 12:18; 7:6-16).
Beginning in 2 Cor. 8:1, Paul resumes discussion of this ongoing collection for the Jerusalem saints which was last discussed in 1 Cor. 16:1-4. He writes:
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything —in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
(2 Cor. 8:1-7 NIV)
Paul makes it clear that:
- The churches of Macedonia had begged to participate in giving for the Jerusalem need.
- They had already contributed the money (see also Rom. 15:25-27).
- They gave well beyond what they were really able to do.
- As a result, Paul urged Titus to have the Corinthians' contributions also.
Paul goes a step further in the next verse:
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
(2 Cor. 8:8 NIV)
What?!? You mean weekly contributions to the church treasury isn't a command?!? Not when we look at the whole picture of what was happening.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
(2 Cor. 8:10-15 NIV)
So the reality is that the Corinthians became aware of a need in Jerusalem and began the process of collecting money to send in relief, but they hadn't finished it.
Paul was planning on coming through when he wrote 1 Cor. 16:1-4 and, as the time was approaching, he was urging the Corinthians to complete what they had set out to do in the first place.
1 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion,for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
(2 Cor. 9:1-8 NIV)
As he traveled around, Paul had been bragging to other churches about the love that the Corinthians had shown in wanting to give to the need at hand.
If they didn't follow through on their promise, Paul and the Corinthians would look really bad.
And so all of this forms the context for the familiar statement that GOD loves a cheerful giver, found in 2 Cor. 9:7.
How many times have we stood up at "the Lord's table" or prior to a weekly collection during a church meeting and (mis)quoted that verse?
This should be a scary wake-up call as to the dangers of prooftexting—picking out a verse or a few verses and misapplying them to fit our previous misconceptions and/or longheld traditions.
Other New Testament Instructions on Giving
Here are some additional verses from the New Testament that instruct us on giving:
33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
(Acts 20:33-35 NIV)
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. ...9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
(Rom. 12:1-2, 9-13 NIV)
25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. 27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
(Rom. 15:25-27 NIV)
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
(Eph. 4:28 NIV)
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
(Phil. 4:14-19 NIV)
17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”
(1 Tim. 5:17-18 NIV)
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
(1 Tim. 6:17-19 NIV)
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
(Jam. 2:15-17 NIV)
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
(1 John 3:17-18 NIV)
Throughout the Bible, GOD's faithful children have been givers, motivated by love.
GOD allows bad things to happen to all people, often for reasons we don't understand, but we can always be certain that He is working things together for the good of those who are His and are called for His purpose (see Rom. 8:28).
Prior to the new covenant, GOD's priests were supported by sacrifices and offerings and other contributions.
In the first century church, every example we have of contributions were for a specific need. There appear to be examples of "treasuries" for holding monies (Acts 2:45; 4:35-37; 1 Cor. 16:1-2), but there are no examples of routine weekly contributions that are commonplace in most churches today.
Similarly, we have examples of evangelists and elders being supported financially.
With a heart full of love, I submit to you that we do not, however, see the concept of today's pulpit preacher in Scripture.
Many—certainly not all—preachers today draw a rather comfortable salary while devoting most of their week to building and delivering a couple of sermons, writing a bulletin article and teaching a Bible class on Sunday.
Likewise, we see no examples of the first century church erecting multi-million dollar complexes outfit with the latest technology, classrooms, plush carpeting, basketball courts and comfortable chairs or pews. Except for the early days prior to the persecution surrounding Stephen's death, the vast majority of the examples we read of the first century Christians meeting occurred in homes.
Are we giving for the purpose of helping the needy as the New Testament Christians did, or are we more concerned with competing for the coolest church building or big-name preacher so that we can win a popularity contest and draw more people to our congregation?
As Jesus taught, are we giving to be seen by GOD or by men?
Either way, we'll have our reward.
How Should Church Giving Work?
Someone says, "Okay Tim, you've shown us what is wrong with modern church giving, but how should church giving work today?"
I'm glad you asked.
Below is a link to a free PDF I created to explain in very practical terms how churches today can return to biblical New Testament giving.
Click the image below and download your copy.