Tithing Makes Church Happen

Via Flickr, by user Photo2217. Used under Creative Commons License.

What do you love about your church? Is it great preaching? Dynamic worship? A children’s ministry that has helped your kids develop their own relationships with Jesus? Or maybe it’s the service projects and positive impact that the congregation has in your community. Whatever it is that you love, someone had to pay for it.

Nothing great is ever free. Because everything we enjoy in life comes as a result of the effort and hard work of another person. And that effort and hard work has value.

So it goes with church. You don’t have to buy a ticket to walk in the front door of your church, but none of the great things that happen there is really free. They all cost somebody something. So how does God intend to pay for the work of His church? Through the tithes of His people.

In today’s church environment, it should come as no surprise that many of the things we enjoy in our meetings are costly. We must pay for the buildings that we meet in, the chairs that we sit in, and the sound and lighting equipment that we use. And those are just the fixed costs; even more important are the salaries that we pay to our pastors, ministers, administrators and other employees that work full time to make the church successful.

Fortunately, God has a plan to provide the finances that it takes to do His work. It’s a tried-and-true system that dates back to the time of Moses. God requires His people to tithe, and directs us to use those tithes to support the people that labor in His service. Numbers 18:21-24 spells it out pretty clearly:

I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting… This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites.  Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD.

In the Old Testament, the men of the tribe of Levi spent their time ministering to God and to His people in the Tabernacle (and later, the temple). Because they had no opportunity to farm or otherwise earn an income, God commanded that the tithes be used to support them and their families. Today, the situation is no different: Our churches employ trained, passionate and committed people in full-time ministry. Those folks help to make the work of the church happen, and they often bless and enrich our lives in the process. The tithes that we give today allow these people to do their jobs effectively tomorrow.

Plenty of Christians would love to circumvent the necessity of the tithe, and give only what they want, and only when they want. But our tithes provide the money to do God’s work. Churches need to budget too, and can only do so effectively when they can count on the regular contributions of their members.

This isn’t just a guilt trip or a plea for money; it’s not just that “pastors gotta eat.” Rather, tithing is a real, tangible contribution that we lay people make to the cause of Christ. The money we give in tithes does not just disappear into the deep coffers of some church committee after we write the checks. These gifts make the work of the church happen. Without tithers, there would be no church ministry.

For me, the tithe is an exciting thing. Every time I write a check to my local church, I’m joining my will and my heart with the heart of God and His vision for my local body. Tithing transforms the “Kingdom of God” from a philosophical idea to a real world-changing mission… and one that I have a critical part in.

We say that we’re seeking first the Kingdom over all else. Shouldn’t we put our money where out mouth is?


  1. You are attempting to take Old Testament commands directed towards the children of Israel where they were under a theocracy and apply it to Christians today. It doesn’t work that way. You are taking God’s Word and adjusting it to fit the times as though God left the future out of His Word.

    The Lord’s Tithe was used to support the Levitical priesthood – to take care of the Temple, etc. where the Spirit of God lived. Now our bodies are the Temple. Now the Spirit dwells with our bodies.

    You can’t compare THE Temple where God’s Spirit lived to a church building.

    IF God is a part of your local church, God will take care of the finances. He will put it in the hearts of the congregation to be generous givers.


  1. […] Just like the government has a claim to some of your income, God has identified some of the money that you make as His. Ten percent of everything you earn — the tithe — belongs to God. In our modern world, that money is given to support the work of the local church; without tithing, church as we know it can’t happen. […]

  2. […] We teach, according to scripture, that the tithe belongs to God, that tithing is necessary to fund the work of the kingdom, and that God attaches a promise of blessing along with the command to […]

  3. […] and that tithing is part of that plan. God says that the tithe belongs to Him, that it supports the work of the ministry, and that He will bless those who are faithful to tithe. But here’s the secret to it all: God […]

  4. […] that He has allocated to us. God’s plan includes things like providing for our families and tithing to support our local churches. In addition to that, though, God wants us to be big givers, helping to take care of the poor and […]

  5. […] this heavy permanently inhibit us from investing to grow our wealth. They certainly inhibit us from tithing and giving to support causes that make a difference in the […]

  6. […] must be funded, and God expects those of us with incomes to give generously to fund that work. Our tithes provide the funding that makes church happen, and our generous giving is what allows missionaries to take the gospel to all corners of the […]

  7. […] let’s define our terms. The tithe is the practice of giving 10 percent of your income to God (via the church), based on patterns established in the Old Testament and confirmed in the New Testament. Similarly, […]

  8. […] earth. He also has instructions for us about how to use that money, and those instructions include tithing to support our local churches and giving generously to help care for the poor around us. After providing for our families’ […]

  9. […] There are a lot of reasons to tithe that we’ve covered here at God, Money & Me. Tithing is commanded by God in the Old Testament and re-enforced in the New Testament. Our tithing is important because the money we give serves as the primary financial resources for our churches. […]

  10. […] that tithing is intended primarily as a way of funding our home church congregations. Quite simply, tithing makes church happen: Without faithful givers, our local churches wouldn’t be able to maintain their facilities, […]

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