I'm curious to hear from readers who have set-up automatic tithing. My husband and I go back and forth on this (usually after doing our taxes and finding inconsistencies).
Have you automated your tithing? Do you pull 10% or a little less to save money for other giving causes? Have you found this practice to be beneficial? Any other pros or cons?
No, see my article under "faith development" or some similar topic. [There are too many topics to choose from under the 'blog' section.]
I do automate my tithing. I find it works great -- maybe because I am SO forgetful! I have done an automated monthly donation to our church from back when I was using Quicken for DOS (yes, I'm that old). Back then, it would ask me if I was sure and it always reminded me of Malachi 3:8 “'Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.' 'But you ask, "How are we robbing you?" 'In tithes and offerings.'" (I had to look that up!) It was like Quicken was asking me, "Will you rob God, OR will you send your offering to the church?" :) I send it to the church office each month.
I do automated giving for some other things, too, like some missionary support. What I don't do and haven't figured out completely is automated giving for the special offerings our church does each week. The deacons follow a schedule. If I were organized, I'd look up each week what the offering will be (it's in the bulletin and on the web), but I haven't gotten in that habit. Maybe I could set up an annual amount for each of the organizations or something.
To me, it feels the most like giving my "first fruits" -- I "pay" it just like my other bills, not deciding each month what I might or might not have leftover or what I do or do not feel like giving.
Anyway, automated tithing absolutely works for me!
"Automatic tithing" seems like an oxymoron.
Tithing implies that we give as we are blessed. It's an ongoing process. My experience is that financial 'blessings' fluctuate throughout the year so we could/should be giving more as we are blessed.
There is probably something to be said to automate your basic giving; a regular monthly (weekly, biweekly or quarterly) deduction from your bank account that provides the foundation of your annual giving. But that should not absolve us of giving over and above that amount on Sundays.
There is another downside to automated giving, especially if you have younger children. How do you instill giving in your children (tithing their allowance?) if you simply pass the plate Sunday after Sunday, reasoning that you 'gave at the bank'.?
Good point - I do just automate my basic giving.
When the offering plate is passed, I still put some cash in the plate and encourage children to do so as well.
Automating the basic amount doesn't preclude doing more. :)
Your final point is very valid and important.
I also think it’s important to consider the importance of the offering as an element of worship, which should follow the preaching of the word and show our gratitude to God for the privilege of hearing His Word proclaimed.
I appreciate the convenience of online giving, but think it removes the significance of the offering in the worship service.
Here's a 'corporate' digression on tithing.
I lead a national association of Christian business and professional leaders. In the monthly discussion among the 50 groups, we look at stewardship; the notion that ALL that we have belongs to God.
A business owner said that he felt humbly proud of the fact that he tithed his net profits at the end of the year. But when he realized that all that he has belongs to God -- including his business -- he said: "Who am I to give God only 10 per cent of my net profits (implying I have a good year) when He owns it all!" He said that he instructed his accountant to revise his corporate budget to include a line item that said: "Kingdom Causes .... $75,000."
He said: "If anything, it's a daily reminder that God is part of my business's DNA."
So, if that apply corporately, how about personally? If your entire life and all your possessions belong to God, how much do you want to give back to Him (ie the Kingdom)??
Automatic tithing? Sure. But make sure that it hurts every week or every month when that withdrawal comes out of your account. Make sure that you aren't giving God a few left-over crumbs ... your 'basic' tithe that you don't even miss. If that's the case, you aren't really giving. God owns it all.
Thanks for this Keith. Sorry for delayed response but I'd love to discuss further how you try to be more intentional with your tithing (and make it sure it is not just the crumbs). I would love to hear your ideas! Maybe a new post even?
We love your comments! Thank you for helping us uphold the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.