Preachers, Stop Asking For Tithes!
Should preachers ask for tithes? NO, because it is Not Biblical! Let us hear how Jesus taught His disciples:
And as you go, preach, saying "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils. Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:7-8
This is exactly what the early disciples did! Everywhere they went, disciples like Peter and Paul preached the Gospel, healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead and cast out devils. However, they had their own jobs and did not ask for any offerings from the people they ministered to. Peter was a fisherman, Paul built tents; they both worked with their own hands, and Paul also publicly declared that he never asked for any material benefits in return.
I did not burden you, nevertheless ..... Did I (ever) make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? 2 Corinthians 16-18
Unfortunately, most preachers nowadays do not follow the teachings of Jesus and the early disciples. They do not preach the Kingdom, do not heal the sick, do not cleanse the lepers, do not raise the dead, do not cast out demons; and yet they do keep asking for tithes!
Christians, Do Not Stop Paying Tithes!
So, does it mean Christians do not need to pay tithes? NO, because paying tithes is Biblical! God Himself said we should pay tithes.
You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year ..... the tithe of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks; that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. Deuteronomy 14:22-23
God want us tithe, but the reason is not to pay mortgage for a church building, pay salaries or support a missionary. The reason for paying tithes is to honour God and to learn to fear Him! By giving one tenth of what we receive, we are acknowledging that everything we receive comes from God, and we show our gratitude by giving the first and the best one tenth of what we receive back to Him. In doing so, God is glorified and He will be even more generous in giving us blessings!
How To Pay Tithes Effectively?
If preachers do not ask, then how do Christians pay tithes? I believe we should make contributions according to the "needs" as in the early church. In the Acts of the Apostles, Christians were very close to each other, and they gave voluntarily to where they found needs. This was also how they collected money for Paul and the churches which needed material support.
I have learnt a very effective way of paying tithes from a book about Jewish customs. Whenever I receive any income, I would set aside one tenth of what I receive and write it down in my notes. In this way, I always have a record on how much I can give. Whenever I notice any church member or missionaries that need financial help, I would draw from the account to make donations. By doing so, I have more control over my donations to make sure that they will go to where financial help is most needed.
How To Collect Tithes Effectively?
Another question, if preachers do not ask for tithes, how can they meet their financial needs? I believe a more effective way than asking for tithes is to report on their expenditures.
I used to go to a church which reports on how much they receive from offerings, and how the money is spent at the end of each month. Without surprise, this church almost always get additional offerings whenever special need arises, and God has also blessed them with a rapid growth in the number of church members.
If we are faithfully following Christ and doing works for His Kingdom, God will surely channel the money to where it is needed.
He who sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7