January 5, 2010 Leave a comment
by Patrice Tsague
“Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” ~ Proverbs 3:9-10
Tithing has unfortunately become such a controversial topic in the kingdom today. Many are questioning whether you should tithe from your gross or net pay? Others are asking whether you should tithe from your business. Can you split your tithe? Does your tithe have to go to your local church? Does tithing still apply in the New Testament? Should I still tithe if my church is misusing the money? Should I tithe even if I am still in debt?
Whatever your personal views are with respect to tithing, I believe that it is important to let the scriptures speak for themselves. Tithing is committing the first tenth of all that God gives you back to the Lord in recognition of His ownership over your life and in appreciation for His goodness towards you (Genesis 28:22). Tithing enables the non-revenue generating ministries that God wants to see operate to have the necessary resources to function. It allows other dimensions of the great commission to be realized. It is a way to provide resources to those who are called to operate in the fivefold ministry: evangelist, teacher, pastor, prophet and apostle (Ephesians 4:11-16, I Timothy 5:17 -18). The tithe is our first gift that must be paid before we can give an offering. The tithe is an obligation; the offering is a choice (Genesis 4:4).
Every born-again Christian must be involved in a local assembly whether it is a home church, small church or a mega-church. While the size of the local assembly is not relevant, it must however, be led by a shepherd (Hebrews 10:24-25, I Peter 5:1-4). As individuals our tithe should be committed to supporting the work of the local assembly that we belong to (Malachi 3:10). If you do not trust your local assembly enough to tithe then you should not trust them with your soul. Where your treasure is there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).
Though the New Testament does not specifically mandate the tithe it should nevertheless be the minimum basis for our giving and not the ceiling. Any New Testament believer who believes that tithing is an Old Testament principle should consistently give beyond the 10 percent and never less, otherwise you are using the Old Testament as a loophole to limit your giving rather than as an inspiration to increasing your giving (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
Kingdom business stewards should not just tithe from their personal income but they should also tithe from their business profits. Though the personal tithe should be committed to supporting the work of the local assembly, the business tithe can be used to support the other ministries of the church. Business tithe can be split but personal tithe must be paid to your local assembly. The business tithe is a tenth of your business profits not the gross revenue. Some businesses do not enjoy a 10 percent gross margin. As such, if businesses are required to tithe from their gross revenue then some will operate at a loss.
Of course we know that operating a kingdom business at a loss is not biblical, since Jesus rebuked the unprofitable servant in Matthew 25:30. The other reason why the business tithe should be paid from the profits is because Proverbs 3:9-10 instructs us to honor the Lord with the first fruits of our increase. You do not have an increase if you have not paid for the expenses associated with generating the revenue. The increase is the net income after all expenses are paid. The tithe must be paid in spite of your debt situation. Since you are tithing from your net profits, you can pay the debt from the balance remaining after the tithe. This shows that you are trusting in God and not in your own efforts to make you debt free.
Why is business tithing necessary for the kingdom business steward?
- It sets us apart from others businesses
- It recognizes that God is the owner and we are the
- It shows our appreciation to God for His goodness
- towards us
- It allows us to be able to finance other work within the kingdom
- It enables God to trust us with more
- It helps us not to be attached to the money
- It allows God to open the windows of opportunity for us and protect our production from lost or destruction.
There are many kingdom businesses who have experienced the joy of business tithing: JC Penney’s, John D. Rockefeller, Chick Filet, Timothy Plan and one who recently began; Davis Endodontic.
Though a committed tither from her personal salary after recently learning about business tithing Dr. Davis had her staff review her profits for the pass couple years and committed over $40K to support the work of the kingdom as a commitment to paying her past business tithe. That is powerful and a tremendous commitment to living the principles of God. If most believers were committed to tithing from their personal income and their business profits then the work of the kingdom would not lack the resources to feed the hungry, nourish the thirsty, house the homeless, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned. In addition, God’s ministering servants would not be distracted by other activities and could fully give themselves to praying and ministering the Word of God (Matthew 25:31-40, Acts 6:4).
Would you want your doctor working another full-time job just to make enough money to be able to practice medicine? Would you want your teacher to work another job to be able to teach? Would you want your pilot working another job just to make ends meet so he can afford to fly? Of course we wouldn’t. We want our professionals to devote themselves fully to servicing us with excellence without other distractions. Why then do we expect those who are called to five-fold ministry to do other things to make ends meet yet expect excellence of ministry? Why do we expect ministries that serve the least of these to devote time to tasks like identifying ways to generate revenue (in the hopes of remaining sustainable) that divert attention away from their primary mission and focus? Sustainability is not always realized through fee-for-service revenue. It can also be realized through the faithful contribution of the faithful saints and the proper stewardship of those contributions.
In this New Year let’s commit ourselves to being a part of God’s work by entrusting our personal and business tithing to His kingdom and enjoy the benefits of being one of the few that the Lord can count on to see His work realized in the earth realm. As Kingdom-minded business stewards we should be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Copyright © 2010 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
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Patrice Tsague, a gifted speaker, author, and entrepreneurship coach, is the Chief Servant Officer of Nehemiah Project International Ministries (NPIM). He thrives on equipping and empowering Christians to take dominion and fulfill God’s plan for their lives through biblically-based, entrepreneurial training. NPIM offers a proprietary certificate business discipleship course called the “Biblical Entrepreneurship Certificate Program”. The program provides a strong mix of core business concepts and biblical principles. Some of the courses offered include Principles of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE I), Practices of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE II), and Planning a Kingdom Business (BE III). To learn more about how NPIM launches entrepreneurs into their God-designed destiny, please visit www.nehemiahproject.org.