You either trust God or you do not. Period.
Further, the blessing of the tithe is so multifaceted that to reduce it to income alone is a ridiculous truncation of God’s promise. The value is generosity, not a return on your investment.
Some churches plant envelopes of money under the seats of the auditorium. Then, following a talk on giving, they tell those in attendance to reach under their seats and (surprise!) find an envelope of cash… say, from $20 to $500.
Then, the challenge made: They are to take that money and invest it for Kingdom gain. Use it for a bake sale, or to start a for-profit website. Do something with that money that could gain a return. Sure, you can keep it and use it on yourself, but if you trust God with it, you will find that you will be able to be served – and serve others – at the same time.
I agree with the principle, but the means of teaching it?
You can’t trust God now, but we will give you “free” money to trust with – which takes no trust at all – to see if He’s trustworthy?
Again, that’s not creating disciples.
Entrepreneurs and Kickbacks
If I had a nickel for every time someone wanted to promote their business through the church and, in the process, give the church a kickback in revenue, I would be retired in Palm Beach.
Of course, they don’t pitch it that baldly. It’s spiritualized.
They couch it all in terms of serving the church and its needs. Their profit is inconsequential, if not irrelevant.
The truth is that many enterprises actually train their people to work church “networks” for gain. They bathe their enterprise in “Christian-ese” to gain entry into trusting communities and, hopefully, open wallets.
The church is not called to be “in” business like this. God designed it to be funded through the changed hearts of His people and their giving.
This one will ruffle a few feathers because fundraisers are so common in churches. Particularly with youth groups.
But again, it’s not teaching stewardship. It’s just gimmicky giving.
When you start down this road, you start down the road of “designated” offerings. Meaning, a gift that is given for one and only one thing.
“I want to give this money for…”
… my favorite ministry.
… my favorite staffer.
… my favorite project.
… my favorite mission organization.