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Why Pastors MUST Tithe

Here is the deal. Pastors have to tithe … they have to.

I know many pastors don’t, but you simply have to tithe if you are going to lead a church. And you need to tithe to your current church. The one whose name is on your pay check. Give your offerings anywhere you want, but tithe to your church.

Melissa and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this summer, and it brought to mind a story from our first week as a married couple. I was finishing up college and Melissa was babysitting, making an astounding $60 per week. That was our income, $240 per month. When it was time to write the bills, we discussed how much to give. Melissa said, “Let’s give 10 percent; let’s tithe and believe God will one day entrust us with much more to give.” We wrote a check for six bucks. It was wonderful advice.

Here are 10 reasons pastors HAVE to tithe:

1. Tithing to your current church is a powerful expression of your “buy-in” to your current context.

Church leaders need to know their pastor is “in this thing.” Few things are more powerful than putting your money where your mouth is.

2. Saying yes to God’s call to ordained ministry is not a discipleship exemption.

People in all careers had to sacrifice to get where they are, start off making a pittance and have student loans, just like pastors do. They need to tithe as well.

3. A non-tithing pastor can never preach the fullness of Christian discipleship (with any authority anyway).

Consultants agree that a church can’t properly address God’s resources without a pastor leading from the pulpit and pen. I truly think many pastors don’t preach it because they don’t live it. Failing to proclaim the whole Gospel because you aren’t willing to tithe is NOT a virtue. Discipleship IS a virtue. Let’s not fool ourselves here.

4. Your church will NEVER reach its potential without a critical mass of tithers.

The primary leader HAS to be one of them. I just don’t know of any exceptions to this.

5. Even if no one knows you don’t tithe, you do and God does.

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Christ Church weekend worship attendance has increased from 200 to over 2,100 each weekend since Shane’s appointment in 1997. He was named The Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church in 2010. Christ Church has three regional campuses and has planted two international sister churches in the Philippines and Honduras. He resides in Belleville, Illinois with his wife Melissa. The couple has two adult children, three grandsons and a granddaughter!