Pastor's Note

Faithful Giving, Pt 2: Faithful Giving is in Proportion to your Resources (Money, Time and Talent)

  • Faithful giving flows from your relationship with God.
  • Faithful giving is in proportion to your resources of money, time and talent.
  • Faithful giving is regular
  • Giving may include extra opportunities to stretch
  • Faithful giving to additional causes is great.
  • Faithful giving satisfies a deep spiritual hunger.

It’s very natural to ask--what amount should I be giving to my faith community? Here’s another area where faithful giving differs from the regular way we use money. If you listen to pitches for other causes, they’ll tie it to “the amount you’d pay for a cup of coffee” or “the same as a night out at the movies.” Some folks go with an arbitrary low amount that they don’t really think they’d miss.  

Faithful giving calculates differently--you start with the total of your income, and take a percentage of that for your gift. That Biblical word “tithe” means 10%--and “first-fruits” giving means you take that “off the top” before any other spending.

So, to make it “easy math”--imagine you bring in $1000 a month, $250 a week.  If you did a straight “tithe”, that would mean $100 per month or $25 per week to give back.

Okay, take a minute to run that through with your own true income. People who have more coming in will have more to give back; people with less coming in will have less giving back. Makes sense, doesn’t it?  Seems . . . just.

Once you’ve run the numbers for your household, are you shocked? Likely, yes. Few people do a straight tithe. If everybody tithed, you’d see a very different church.

Here are a couple other approaches to proportional giving.

  1. A percentage of income after essentials are covered: take out housing, groceries, childcare, utilities, medical expenses, etc.  All those things you must cover.  Now, what would 10% of the remaining amount be?
  2. Start with a lower percentage and set a goal of growing each year.  Look at what you are giving now. What percent is that of your income? Is there room to grow? Perhaps you start at 3% this year. If your income gets bigger, your giving should follow and get bigger, too. (If the household sees a decline in income, a decline in the amount of the gift will be appropriate.) Perhaps a year from now you could be giving 4%.

You can tell this takes some thought, and probably some prayer, too. As God has invested in you over time, so also you--in response--invest in the emerging kingdom of God, and our place in that mission at Redeemer.  (In upcoming messages we’ll talk about giving beyond Redeemer, too.)

Before I was a pastor, I served on the Stewardship Committee of my home church. They asked me to do a Temple Talk on Proportionate Giving. I was a young mother at the time, and Maddi and Betsy were three years apart and markedly different in height. (Now the younger one is an inch taller than the older one!)

Anyway, I illustrated proportionate giving by standing in front with me holding a full-size laundry basket, Maddi a medium-sized basket, and tiny Betsy held a tiny basket. For each of us, the basket seemed the same size against our stature, but of course the amount that could fit in each basket was very different. One of the best-received messages on church finance ever, if I do say so myself. Then again, it might have had something to do with the cuteness of the kids . . .

Peace in Christ, Pastor Lisa

Redeemer Lives! New Episode Sunday, March 21st
Podcast hosted by Rev. Lisa Bates-Froiland
Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and the Redeemer website.

Sunday, March 21st Worship Service
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Redeemer Family & Friends,

We need some helpful volunteers to sign up for these opportunities below this fall. It always a good time at Redeemer while doing something meaningful for our community. Sign up if you see an area where you could help or share with someone who could. Thanks so much.
Outdoor Pantry

Thursdays 12:30pm-1:30pm
South side parking lot
We bring food to you!

Volunteers meet in shifts Thursdays 10:00am-2:00pm. Help us box meals,
pack bags of groceries, and distribute goods in Redeemer's back parking lot.
Anyone is welcome to volunteer!

To volunteer or donate, contact Joan Jacobs:
631 N. 19th Street 
Miwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 933-7004

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Redeemer Lutheran Church · 631 N 19th St · Milwaukee, WI 53233 · USA

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