Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Itemized Deductions”

Categories: THE COLLECTION, WORSHIP
     The recent questions on tithing have got me thinking.  If someone gives out of their personal funds to things related to their specific congregation... say, they buy class materials or pitch in for building upkeep.  Could that be considered as part of their giving for the week?  We are on a strict budget and sometimes have to buy things for the church but feel bad if when the collection plate rolls around on Sunday morning, we've already spent that money earlier in the week.

Sincerely,
On A Shoestring

Dear On A Shoestring,

There is nothing wrong with factoring other spending you do on behalf of the church into your giving, but the biggest thing you need to do is to factor these things in at the beginning and not when Sunday rolls around.  2 Cor 9:7 says that we should “purpose in our hearts” what we should give, and 1 Cor 16:1-3 talks about giving in a purposeful, planned way.  If we are reading your question right, what is happening is that you have a budget, and whatever is left at the end of that budget is what you give.  That is the opposite of how giving should be done.  When you first get money, you should plan ahead what you will give (factor in extra church giving expenditures you may need to prepare for), set that money aside, and then the decision is made well before the plate comes by.  That way, you can feel confident that what you are giving is purposeful and cheerfully planned.