An Invitation to Experience Tithing
The sermon series for Lent 2024 is called “The Struggle is Real (and the Gospel is Even Real-er).” Accompanying this holy season, we are inviting you to experience the spiritual discipline of tithing for 40 days. You may have some questions about tithing, so we are offering an online class and have included some FAQs below:
Tithing 101 – What is tithing? What does the Bible say about it and what does it mean for me?
Tithing is the traditional biblical standard of giving one tenth of your income to God. It is rooted in Biblical commands (such as Genesis 28:10-22) and has been in practice in the church for centuries. What does the United Methodist Church teach about tithing?
Yes! You can read one testimony here and hear more in our Tithing 101 Class on February 8, 2024. Currently 22 households in our congregation identify as tithers, and we hope to grow that number this Lent.
God promises to bless our faithfulness in all matters including in our giving for the sake of ministry. Tithers report that when they start tithing they experience blessings from God. In scripture God promises bountiful blessings if the people of God tithe for the sake of ministry to the least and left out.
Tithing as a spiritual practice also grows our awareness that all that we have comes from God, and invites us to readily depend on God in our whole life, including our income.
Furthermore, the leader of Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey, along with our own United Methodist financial advisors include tithing not just as a “good thing to do,” but as a foundational aspect of developing financial health and security.
In general, all church giving goes to achieve the church’s mission to “reflect the Grace of God in how we welcome, love, and serve the world and one another.” This Lent we will be focusing any increased giving on increasing campus accessibility to people with disabilities, and improving our building and communication infrastructure.
Here are the projects your tithe will impact this Lent.
Our understanding is that all our gifts to God are missional gifts, devoted to God’s mission for us as a church. As a church committed to mission, a “tithe” or one-tenth of all gifts received through this Lenten initiative will be set aside to fund our mission commitments in 2024 like ESL, our partnerships in Haiti and Ukraine, and more.
To quote Bishop Michael J. Coyner (half-way through the linked article), “Tithing is not about accounting; it is about acknowledging that God is the source of all gifts.” Praying may help you discern how you are being called to tithe. What we’re inviting you to do this season is simply to begin to tithe in a way you feel God calling you to.
No. God will not love you more if you tithe, or less if you don’t. Similar to prayers, or attending worship, or acts of service, tithing is a Christian spiritual practice which can grow our love, faithfulness, and devotion to God in response to God’s unconditional love for us.
Pastor Drew and the Grace Stewardship Team are offering a free online class, “Tithing 101,” on February 8, 2024. You can sign up for that Zoom class here. You’ll also be sent a recording of the class to view afterward. Signing up for the class does not automatically sign you up for the 40 Days of Tithing experience. You’re simply invited to come and learn. The Tithing 101 class will include information about tithing, about the church’s goals, and testimony from fellow tithers.
When you sign up you’ll be contacted by a pastor with a word of thanks and encouragement, and an invitation to a phone call or coffee for a conversation about your spiritual life, and your experience with tithing. Pastor Drew and Pastor Jessica want to support you in your spiritual journey, and tithing is a big step in that journey! You’ll also be remembered in the prayers of our prayer team throughout Lent.
Yes you may! Visit umcgrace.org/give and select “Lent” to make a one time gift towards the projects we are hoping to fund this Lent.