A Word from Pastor Neta

How much should I give to the church?  Ultimately, of course, that is for you to decide, but there are guidelines.  Scripture is often specific, and in this case, it is also consistent.  A tithe.  One tenth– and not the last tenth, but the first tenth.  I used to have a woman who always asked if that was before or after taxes.  Suspecting that was her way of avoiding the issue I always responded, “You choose– but get started.”  
 
People have different ways of achieving that goal.  One woman always tithes her raise.  She said, “That’s money I’m not used to having, so it’s a good way to step up.”  Another man tells me he goes by the raise in his country club dues.  If they go up 5%, he adds that much and more to his tithe because he wants the church to count for more in his life than the country club.  One couple I know keep a separate bank account into which they always put 10% of every pay check.  All the gifts to church or college or United Way come out of that.  Another suggestion is to figure out what per cent of your income is given away (modern computer accounting programs make that a snap), then go up 1% a year until you have reached 10%.  What ever works for you, set a goal, and a way to get there.  
 
Obviously such an approach has some benefits to the church, but more importantly it has benefits for each of us.  Money focuses our attention.  In one of the debates, one of the Presidential candidates of several years ago misquoted Jesus on the subject.  He said, “As Jesus said, ‘Where your heart is, there is your money.’” Wrong.  That’s not what Jesus said.  He put it the other way around.  “Where your money is, there is your heart.” Matt 6:21, LK 12:34.  Where we put our money changes our heart.  Try it.  See how it changes you.  
 
Neta Lindsay Pringle