In the Christian Post this morning, survey results released by the National Association of Evangelicals this week show that a majority of their leaders don’t think the Bible requires them to give at least 10 percent of their income to the church. Fifty-eight percent of those responding said the tithe is not a mandate, while 42 percent said it was.
The survey was given to members of the NAE board of directors, including executive leadership of universities, publishers, denominations, missions, and churches. Interestingly, 95 percent of the respondents said they personally give at least 10 percent, while other researchers have shown that evangelicals overall give only about four percent of their income, and other Christians give even less.
Dr. Kurt Fredrickson of Fuller Seminary said many pastors preach “whole life stewardship” rather than the tithe, but that “there is certainly the sense that the way we spend our money says an awful lot about who we are as a person.” NAE President Leith Anderson said he hopes that the increased focus in churches on stewardship courses and financial management will create more “generous, proportionate, cheerful and sacrificial giving among American evangelicals.” Author Douglas LeBlanc, who wrote Tithing: Test Me in This, also responded to the survey results: “American Christians in particular, I think, will never fail to find a way out of tithing if they are not interested.”
What do you say? Is the tithe required by the Bible? How does your church get people to give?