What is a Tithe and How is it different from an Offering?
Tithe – a biblical standard, one-tenth of one’s annual income, given as a contribution to support the ministry and mission of the church. According to the scriptures (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26;Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5, the purpose of tithing is to teach us to put God first in our lives. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Tithing is a habit that encourages us to focus on God as the source of our strength, rather than our own achievements or financial assets. Tithing leads to spiritual growth.
The Church says that tithing is “the minimum goal of giving….”, but does not specify net or gross. Some people tithe out of their gross income. Many tithe from their adjusted gross income and many tithe out of the after-tax income.
The important thing is to begin to tithe. God can always work on the details later.
Tithing also provides the financial assets for congregations to launch and expand a wide continuum of ministries. Together, we are able to accomplish far more than most of us can achieve individually.
An Offering is by definition a gift above and beyond what is Tithed. Whether one is Tithing now or working toward that goal – what God asks is for our Best and Finest!
We might consider giving money through the church, rather than to the church. When people give to the church, they are giving to sustain the institution. However, when people give through the church, they are empowering ministry. The spiritual discipline of tithing is one of giving through the church. Tithing congregations are beacons of spiritual vitality and health. They are communities grounded in spiritual relationships, beginning with a relationship to God as the primary source of strength, hope, and life.