Our Revolutionary Mission
Can you express the mission of your (church/business/institution) in one short sentence?
Money follows mission. The clearer a congregation is about its mission, the easier it is to underwrite it. But it must be a life-impacting, world-changing mission (not just institutional survival).
Tithing helps us prioritize … especially with goals such as 10-10-80 (giving 10%, saving 10%, living on 80%). That's good, but the big picture is even more critical. The practice of tithing is counter-cultural and revolutionary because it fosters a culture which values every person and honors every gift that represents a significant proportion of one’s income. In short, one's income isn't the point, but rather one's percentage of giving.
Imagine a nation (or a world) in which the church taught a generation of young people to tithe and to save an equal amount. Our debt-induced national (or world) economic crisis would be unthinkable.
In our sermons and small group sessions about stewardship, let’s use money as a way of talking about Jesus rather than using Jesus as a way of talking about money.
Many Christians have grown well beyond tithing (giving 10%).
They see it as a “floor” not a “ceiling” or ultimate goal for giving.
Dr. Rick Owen calls these folks “lifestyle givers.”
This one also comes from Rick Owen, by way of Jim Harnish and Hyde Park UMC in Tampa: let’s help new Christians find “on ramps” to tithing — helping people take those first steps toward becoming lifestyle givers. I like Hyde Park’s website — one of the toolbars is divided into these buttons: prayers, presence, gifts, service.
Giving, particularly by young people, is increasingly non-institutional. How can we, who are part of an ancient institution, find ways to reach a generation who doesn’t think institutionally? The key is mission. Young people (and a growing number of older ones) are reached not through loyalty or guilt but through life-changing, missional engagement.