Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tithing, Giving

The issue of tithing and giving has been on my mind quite a bit lately. First, we want to thank each and every one of you for your generous giving to AFN. We are blessed and humbled.

For us 'seasoned' believers, we know that God's word is clear about tithes and offerings. He says to bring both to the storehouse. (See Malachi 3) Tithe is the first thing we give; our first 10% belongs to God. Anything that we give above that is an offering. These are basic principles most of us know and live by.

However, the question of where does tithe belong is sometimes not as clear. I, Jody, and the leadership of AFN believe that your tithe should be given to your local church. We believe that the storehouse is the local church. Your church, where you are equipped and where you minister, is your storehouse; your tithe should always go there. If it doesn't, your church will not function properly.

Think of it as you would your own household. You get your food and rest at your home. You work to provide for your home. What if you began to give your earnings to another household? What would happen? The funds would dry up, and your household, your family, would go without. The same is true for the local church.

I want to take this even further now. Within each local church are multiple ministries or needs or departments---however you refer to them. These ministries are branches of the church body. Just like your own body, you feed the stomach, which then nourishes the rest of you---your arms, legs, hands, etc... Your tithe belongs to the the stomach of the church---the general fund as many call it. You cannot feed your body through your arm; it does not receive nourishment that way. If you give your tithe to a specific ministry within your church instead of to the general fund, a malnourishment occurs, and the church as a whole begins suffer and cannot function properly.

When you bring your tithes and offerings to the church your tithe belongs to the whole church body, or general fund. Your offerings belong to whatever ministry, need, person, etc... that God directs you to.

To all our supporters, we say thank you, however, we ask that you remain faithful first and foremost in your tithes to your local churches general fund. That is where it belongs. Any offerings or givings that you feel led to give to AFN, we humbly accept.

No comments: