When Clay and I first got married, he was still in college, and I had just gotten my first job at a church making a tiny entry-level salary. To say that money was tight is an understatement. So, we were faced with a decision: Should we start tithing right away? I mean, Clay was still a student, and we weren’t sure we could make ends meet even on 100% of our income. Were we justified in waiting until we were financially secure to start tithing?
But as we prayed and read scripture, we came to two conclusions:
- God asked people with income that was smaller and less secure than ours (people living in an unpredictable agrarian society!) to give their first fruits (not their leftovers!) with faith that God would care for them.
- Financial security is a myth.
We made the decision to start tithing and we’ve never looked back.
When we used to write our (teensy) tithe check, Clay and I used to joke around about what our (giant) church would use it for. Could we pay for air conditioning for the building for a month? Doubtful. Were we financing all the paper goods for fellowship time? Unlikely. But was it possible that perhaps our yearly tithe could buy all the new light bulbs for the year? Yes, maybe so! I liked picturing it: that we could contribute something that, in a very small way, helped illuminate all of the other ministries happening in the building. It was small, but it was our part. God is in the business of using things—insignificant in their own right—for His glory.
Perhaps you’ve heard Pastor Bobby talk about adding an Associate Pastor of Discipleship position to our church staff. It’s exciting to dream big dreams of how God could use such a person in our church; of the ways such a position could invigorate and make practical our application of the gospel to everyday life; of the many people who might see Jesus in us more clearly as we rediscover the gospel.
As our church becomes excited about the vision of what God could do in our midst; as we are motivated to take the next step that God is calling us to in giving (whether that means giving regularly for the first time, tithing, or giving above a tithe); as we now have easier ways to give electronically that will help us be more consistent in our giving, I believe we can come together to make sure the funds are in place to make this important addition to our church staff.
Join with me in prayer about what it might look like for us to be obedient in our finances…even if it just means buying the light bulbs.
Laura Range has been a member of NSCBC since 2005. She and her husband Clay have two beautiful children.