Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Giving God Ten Percent
You may have heard about the pastor in the States who decided to stiff her restaurant server on the tip, claiming that she gives God ten percent, or a tithe, so why should she be expected to give the waitress eighteen percent. It was pathetic really, not logical and not a Christian attitude. The waitress joked about it online, the pastor heard and complained, and the restaurant fired the server. Unfair from start to finish.
While shaking my head in disbelief it occurred to me that the missed story is that the pastor tithes. That doesn't happen much anymore, nor does percentage giving of any kind. Whether it is three or five or ten percent, we don't talk about this in mainline churches. for fear of alienating folk. Yet the same congregations are often cash-starved, struggling to do the minimum, let alone venture into creative ministry. I find that people are often at their most creative when they are giving "reasons" (they often sound suspiciously like excuses) for not giving more.
I will offer accolades to the St. Paul's congregation for contributing just over six percent more in 2012 than 2011. Well done!
In our household we give because we feel that it is our response to a generous God. We want to support the St. Paul's congregation, but much of what we contribute supports the wider mission of the United Church. And since our two daughters worked as waitresses through the years we try to be generous when we tip.
Are you comfortable with your level of giving to various causes, including the church? Are you inclined to make excuses? Have you become more generous with the passage of time, or less?