The Best Strategy for Creating Generous Tithers

by Patrick Johnson  |  February 15, 2019

>>>Be sure and watch this month's video clip below from Patrick Johnson on this blog topic.<<<

Often I get this question from pastors: “What would happen if everybody in my church just tithed?” I understand the motivation behind that question. If everyone tithed, we would have more money to do ministry and impact the Kingdom. But I think a more appropriate question to ask is, “What if everyone in my church had a growing relationship with God?” Wow—what would that even look like? From my experience of working with churches, I’ve observed that people with a growing relationship with God are the ones who become whole-life generous givers.

At GenerousChurch we put it this way: When all of life is lived in relationship with God, whole-life generosity grows and flourishes in individuals and in churches. On the other hand, if we become narrowly focused on creating regular tithers, we run the risk of creating Pharisees in our church.

"People may be practicing the “right” level of giving, yet they miss out on developing a vibrant, personal relationship with God—the necessary element to becoming true generous givers." [Tweet This]

Beyond Creating Tithers

So let’s shift the question. Let’s go beyond just wanting to create tithers. Instead, let’s concentrate on how we can help people grow in their relationship with God. That’s the starting point of true generosity.

Let me demonstrate this connection in real-life terms. Knowing that I work with churches of all sizes and shapes, people will ask me, “Who is the most generous church you’ve ever met?” I’m sure there are thousands of congregations all across the country who are radically generous, but the first church that comes to my mind is Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas. Jimmy Seibert and his wife Laura started this church over 30 years ago, fully committed to five core practices:

  1. They were going to meet with God daily in personal worship.
  2. They were always going to be evangelizing the lost and telling them about Jesus.
  3. They were going to be in a discipleship relationship with other people.
  4. They were going to invest in their families.
  5. They were going to live simply and give generously.

Relational Results

Now, some 30 years later, this small church has grown into a really large church, having sent over 200 missionaries to some of the hardest places to reach around the globe. They’ve planted churches globally and locally. They’ve impacted their community in major ways. They built all their buildings with cash. They don't believe in debt. This is a radically generous church. I find it significant that four out of their five core practices deal with relationship—a relationship with God and personal worship, their relationship with the lost, their relationship in discipleship environments, and their relationship with their family. And that drives home my point.

The Fruit of Whole-Life Generosity

As we commit to a growing relationship with God and with others, whole-life generosity is the fruit that flows from that. [Tweet This]

It seems we often try to produce the fruit first, but we neglect dealing with the root issues. What Jimmy Seibert and Antioch church demonstrate is that when you focus on the right things first, the fruit that we all want to see becomes the normal result. Whole-life generosity begins when all of life is lived in relationship with God, and the fruit of that will be people who are generous in every area of life.


[Tweet this Article]

Watch This Month's Clip 

In this clip, Patrick Johnson talks his past experience in consulting churches when wanting to create generous tithers. He has seen the results when a church changes its strategy.

Please watch and share in your network!

Recommended Resource:

Take 4 weeks to explore God's heart and example of generosity personally or with your entire church. 

Purchase your copies of the Whole-Life Generosity Devotional. Bulk savings packages are available. 

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