Clarity On Tithing

Q. Hey I love your site, keep up the awesome, inspired work.

How do you decide where to send your tithe? I have heard that the first 10% should go to your local church and then anything extra to “special” ministries or one-time events. In principle I agree, but the church I attend now is clearly not hurting for money, and I always get greater satisfaction out of supporting these special ministries or just providing gifts to members of the church in need. However, I have to admit that this is largely just based on my emotions, and when it comes to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I have never felt strongly led either way, only that I should be giving. Thanks!

A. Many churches teach that their members’ tithes belong to them, and that all giving to outside ministries, etc. should be over and above the tithe. The Bible doesn’t say as much, but it is a good rule of thumb because hopefully your local fellowship is providing the bulk of your Christian needs.

If you feel that your church is doing well and want to bless outside ministries from time to time, then after prayer and careful consideration, go ahead. If you want to give to members of your own fellowship who you perceive to be in need, it’s best to direct your giving through the church. Most churches will route designated giving to the selected recipient so members can protect their anonymity and avoid embarrassing anyone.

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