Money is one of the most controversial issues in the life of the church. Is there an alternative to the guilt, shame, coercion, and threat-of-being-cursed-based giving of an alleged Malachi tithe, or “I give when I feel the Lord tells me to” mantra? (Which typically translates into: rarely and not much, or when it is convenient, which it never is). Yes, there is. In this final installment of the Church Refugee Sanity Guide, we talk about giving as an integral part of the new covenant and of the life of Christ. It is not just our money. It is about our time and talents as well. Giving can be done cheerfully with grace, love, and liberty apart from any institutional construct.
One of the reasons we often overlook supporting real-deal equippers is due to the very fact that they are so down to earth, humble, approachable, authentic, and familiar. It is so odd. In our past we readily supporting distant celebrity preachers in a pulpit with whom we may have never had a personal private moment. We voluntarily “tithed” to see that person compensated. Yet now that we don’t do that any more, we react to the idea of supporting those we are close to. If familiarity breeds contempt, it often manifests in our financial relationship to those who truly equip us. This blog is the last of a four-part series by Loren Rosser and is posted by permission.
Most the folks who have angst about supporting equippers have been stuck with the wrong equippers. They’ve encountered the charlatans, the big shot, the power hungry, greedy, selfish, know-it-all, wannabes. Some who have encountered the genuine article didn’t even recognize them as such. Their religious training had taught them that whoever is in the pulpit on Sunday is equipping them for ministry, whether or not real equipping was taking place. This blog is the third in a four-part series by Loren Rosser and posted here by permission.
How should we fund ministry efforts (local and trans-local) in the kingdom of Jesus Christ, in a new covenant, grace-based, non-coercive way in community? On the one hand there’s the way we’ve been doing it for centuries, that I hope to have convinced you in this book is at least lacking if not utterly broken: tithe to an impersonal institution to support a professional class of full-time clergy who are the real “ministers.” On the other hand, there are the more reactionary elements who believe that no individual, under any circumstance, should be compensated in preference over an another, as we are all equal as “ministers”–the gift of hospitality is as worthy of compensation as preaching and teaching.
It’s obvious that the long-term future belongs to the youngest current generations of adults, The Millennials. The beliefs, values, and giving habits of this generation must be understood if we are going to effectively speak their language, in incarnational love, on the topic of finances and giving.
Is there a better way to express a culture of giving and receiving than blindly throwing ten percent into the mouth of a voracious, impersonal, non-relational, religious machine that consumes resources like the Borg assimilating the universe?[i] I think there is.
But there as many opinions on this topic as there are believers!
It is an indisputable fact that there are differences in giving habits between different generations. These differences are deep and not going away. If we expect giving in the ekklesia to continue along the line it has for the last fifty years, or even twenty years, we are seriously mistaken. We ignore these differences at our peril.
Dear friends and family,
We’re happy to announce the release of our latest book: Money and the Church: A Better Way to Live and Give!
A two minute introductory video can be found here
What some are saying:
- The time has come for mature believers to embrace the Way of the Kingdom, and release antiquated concepts regarding finances that have kept them bound to a worldly system . . . a seminal work. – BW
- This is a magnificent book, I wish I had read it twenty years ago. It would have helped me see my way through the numerous twists and turns with greater clarity and discernment. Now that I have read it I cannot commend it too highly. It is a sober and prudent book. – JA
- A no-punches-pulled book that addresses core issues concerning money . . . challenging and inspiring. – AA
- If I could give every believer two books they would be: The Misunderstood God, by Darin Hufford, and this one by Steve Crosby. – LR
- If you would like to help us distribute our materials, you can, and make some money yourself! By becoming an affiliate you will be able to obtain our materials discounted by up to 50%. You can then sell to friends and family for as close to retail as you might like and keep the profit, or you can give them away as an offering/seed!
- There is NO inventory for you to carry. You can purchase on demand! It’s as simple as letting us know that you would like to be an affiliate, provide us your email, name, and address, and you will be automatically discounted at checkout for anything you buy . . . lifetime!
- It’s that easy. Let me know if you’re interested – firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the high cost of international shipping, we regret that for soft and hard cover books, DVD’s, CD’s and other “hard” materials, that this offer is good ONLY for friends in the USA. We recommend our international friends obtain an electronic version of any materials.