7 Ways Your Church Makes Bad First Impressions (and How to Fix Them)

March 14, 2018
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Health and Growth

7 Ways Your Church Makes Bad First Impressions (and How to Fix Them)

Health and Growth

7 Ways Your Church Makes Bad First Impressions (and How to Fix Them)

God talks an awful lot about money in the Bible.

In fact, there are more than 2,000 scriptures on giving, money, and possessions in the Old and New Testaments. If you’re doing the math, God spoke more often about money than he did about faith and prayer combined.Needless to say, there is no shortage of tithing scriptures in the Bible.

There are good reasons God chose to speak about money frequently. But we wrote about that elsewhere, and we encourage to dive into the frequently asked questions about tithing and giving to read our thoughts.

As far as we know, no one argues if Christians should be generous. However, many people have discussed whether or not Christians are required to tithe.

Before tackling the response to this question, let’s take a moment to answer a foundational question to this conversation.

What is a tithe?

When was the last time you used the word “tithe” in a conversation?

If I were a gambling man, I’d bet never.  

The word “tithe” isn’t often thrown around in everyday conversations. But this doesn’t mean it’s not a significant concept to understand as a Christian. Don’t let the "old" sound of the word throw you off. It’s straightforward to understand.

Here's the definition: A “tithe” is a tenth.

Easy, right?

Now, when you hear the Church talk about “tithing,” they make be talking about giving in general, but they’re usually referring to donating a tenth of your income. And this is where things get… messy.

When you hear the Church talk about tithing, you might react like many do—unless you grew up in the Church—who naturally ask, “Do I need to tithe?”

This is a fair question, and unless someone is pointing a gun at you, it’s okay to ask. I mean, it’s not every day you give someone or an organization 10% of your income. So, what is a tithe according to the Bible?

Are Christians required to tithe?

Several responses have been developed to this question over the years. But most Christians believe one of these two responses below.

1. Christians are commanded to tithe

The argument: The tithe began in the Old Testament and carried on by Jesus Christ.

The foundation of this argument stands on two pillars:

First, the argument is made that the requirement to tithe was made before the Mosaic covenant (Gen. 14; 28; Heb. 7:1). If this true, then this means the tithe was not abolished in Christ and is still in force today.

Second, this position argues that Jesus affirmed the continuation of the tithe (Matt. 23:23). If Jesus upheld the tithe, then Christians are commanded to tithe today.

People who believe this position do not believe that Christians should not give more than a tithe or to other causes outside of the local church. The people who believe this position generally believe in the continuation of the tithe from the Old Testament.

2. Christians are commanded to give generously

The argument: Christians are called to give generously, but they’re not commanded to tithe.

This position boils down to two main points:

First, the tithes that were given by Abraham (Gen. 14) and Jacob (Gen. 28) are descriptions; not prescriptions. In other words, there is no additional evidence that Abraham and Jacob continued to tithe or that their actions were binding for others then or today.

Second, the New Testament does not command Christians to tithe. When giving is referenced in the New Testament, Christians are commanded to give generously (2 Cor. 8–9), but they are not commanded to tithe.

What am I supposed to do?

There are strengths and weaknesses in the two positions above, and the length of this blog post is not sufficient to cover them all. Hopwfully you will understand what is a tithe according to the Bible by the time you leave, but know that you'll likely spend more time researching, talking, and praying before you come to your own conclusion. 

Regardless if you believe you’re commanded to tithe or give generously, we pray you follow the Lord with a clear conscience, give generously, and support your local church and other causes as you’re able.

What percentage of Christians tithe?

Today, most Christians don’t tithe. 

This isn’t a judgement. 

Just an observation. 

Consider these statistics:

When you place your faith in Christ, you will—in time–be transformed into a generous giver. This doesn’t mean you'll always be in a position to give 10 percent of your income. But it does mean that you’ll be transformed into a giver.  

There are several reasons why you may not be able to give as much as you like:

  • You’re in a difficult financial season
  • You’re growing in your faith in Christ
  • You don’t trust your local church leaders
  • You don’t know why you should give

After you read this post, prayerfully consider your situation. Read the verses below. Study the different scriptures about giving and generosity. Reach out to your pastor or Christian community to answer your questions or to seek accountability. 

106 Scriptures about tithing in the Bible, giving, and generosity

Do you need verses on tithing in the Bible to make the offering in your church more meaningful? Or maybe you’re looking to use scriptures on giving and generosity in your daily devotions? What about Bible verses you can use as part of a Bible study you release in your church app?

Regardless of what you’re looking for, here are over 100 scriptures on tithing in the Bible.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), but sometimes just knowing it isn't enough. We need our hearts to be moved. We need to hear stories and see examples. We need God's Word, the Bible, to inspire us. We need to learn what God says about tithing in the Bible.

Old Testament scriptures on tithing in the Bible

  1. Genesis 14:19–20: (The first tithe) And he blessed him and said,“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
  2. Genesis 28:20–22: (Jacob offers a tithe) Jacob made a vow (to God), "If God will be with me and will watch over me…all that You give me I will give You a tenth.”
  3. Exodus 35:5: From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering.
  4. Exodus 35:21: Everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work.
  5. Exodus 35:5: From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering.

From what you have, take an offering for the lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the lord an offering.

Exodus 35:5
  1. Exodus 35:22: All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the LORD.
  2. Exodus 35:29: All the men and women who were willing brought to the LORD freewill offerings for all the work the LORD…had commanded them to do.
  3. Leviticus 27:30: (The tithe is introduced into law) A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
  4. Leviticus 27:32: The entire tithe of the herd and flock-- every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod-- will be holy to the LORD.
  5. Numbers 18:21: I give to the Levites (ministers) all the tithes…in return for the work they do while serving (the Lord).
  6. Numbers 18:26: (The Levites tithe) Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, “When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.”
  7. Deuteronomy 12:5–7: Rather, you must seek the Lord your God at the place of worship he himself will choose from among all the tribes—the place where his name will be honored. There you will bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, your offerings to fulfill a vow, your voluntary offerings, and your offerings of the firstborn animals of your herds and flocks. There you and your families will feast in the presence of the Lord your God, and you will rejoice in all you have accomplished because the Lord your God has blessed you.
  8. Deuteronomy 14:22–23: You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.
  9. Deuteronomy 14:27–29: At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.
  10. Amos 4:4–5: (God requires more than the tithe) “Come to Bethel, and transgress; to Gilgal, and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days; offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel!” declares the Lord God.
  11. 2 Chronicles 31:4–5: And he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the Law of the Lord. As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.
  12. 2 Chronicles 31:6: The men…brought a tithe of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD their God, and they piled them in heaps…When King Hezekiah and his officials came and saw the heaps, they praised the LORD and blessed God’s people.
  13. 2 Chronicles 31:12: God’s people faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts.
  14. Nehemiah 10:35–37: We obligate ourselves to bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all fruit of every tree, year by year, to the house of the Lord; also to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks; and to bring the first of our dough, and our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and to bring to the Levites the tithes from our ground, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our towns where we labor.
  15. Nehemiah 12:43–44: (God’s people) offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing…could be heard far away.  Men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits and tithes.
  16. Nehemiah 12:47: All (of God’s people) contributed the daily portions for the singers, gatekeepers…Levites (ministers).
  17. Nehemiah 13:11–12: I rebuked the officials and asked them, "Why is the house of God neglected?" Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.  All (God’s people) brought the tithes…into the storerooms.
  18. Malachi 3:7–9: Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?'  "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings.  You are under a curse-- the whole nation of you-- because you are robbing me.
  19. Malachi 3:10–12: Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
  20. Malachi 3:11–12: (God says to those who bring him tithes and offerings) “I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty.  "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land.”
  21. 1 Kings 17:13, 8–16: Elijah said to (the starving widow woman), "Don't be afraid…first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry’…She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.
  22. Exodus 36:3–6: The people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning.  So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done."  Then Moses gave an order…"No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary." And so the people were restrained from bringing more.
  23. Malachi 1:6–7: "A son honors his father, a servant honors his master. I am your Father and Master, yet you don't honor me…you despise my name." "Who? Us?" you say. "When did we ever despise your name?"  "When you offer polluted sacrifices on my altar." "Polluted sacrifices? When have we ever done a thing like that?" "Every time you say, 'Don't bother bringing anything very valuable to offer to God!'”
  24. Malachi 1:8–10: (God’s ministers tell people) 'Lame animals are all right to offer on the altar of the Lord-- yes, even the sick and the blind ones.' And you claim this isn't evil? Try it on your governor sometime-- give him gifts like that-- and see how pleased he is!… I have no pleasure in you," says the Lord Almighty, "and I will not accept your offerings.”
  25. Malachi 1:11: “My name will be honored…from morning till night. All around the world people will offer…pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name shall be great among the nations," says the Lord Almighty.
  26. Malachi 1:12–13: (Ministers dishonor God by telling people) God’s altar is not important and encouraging people to bring cheap, sick animals to offer to God.  "You say, 'Oh, it's too difficult to serve the Lord and do what he asks.' And you turn up your noses at the rules he has given you to obey. Think of it! Stolen animals, lame and sick-- as offerings to God! Should I accept such offerings as these?" asks the Lord.
  27. Malachi 1:14: “Cursed is that man who promises a fine ram from his flock and substitutes a sick one to sacrifice to God. For I am a Great King," says the Lord Almighty, "and my name is to be mightily revered among the people of the world."
  28. Haggai 1:4: "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while (God’s) house remains a ruin?"
  29. Haggai 1:5–8: This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."  This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways…build (My) house…so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored.”
  30. Haggai 1:9–11: "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.  Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops.  I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands."
  31. Proverbs 11:24–25: One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.  A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:24–25
  1. Proverbs 3:9–10: Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
  2. Proverbs 18:9: One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.
  3. Proverbs 22:9: A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
  4. Proverbs 28:22: A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.
  5. Proverbs 28:27: He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.
  6. 1 Chronicles 29:2–3: (King David said to God’s people) “With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold…silver…bronze…iron…wood…onyx…turquoise…all kinds of fine stone and marble-- all of these in large quantities.  In my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided.
  7. 1 Chronicles 29:5–8: (King David said to the leaders) “Who is willing to consecrate himself today to the LORD?"  Then the leaders of families…officers…commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds…and the officials…gave willingly.  They gave toward the work on the temple of God gold…silver…bronze…iron.  Any who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the LORD.
  8. 1 Chronicles 29:9: The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.
  9. 1 Chronicles 29:11–12: Everything in heaven and earth is Yours, O LORD.  Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
  10. 1 Chronicles 29:13–14: (David prayed to God) “God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.  "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
  11. 1 Chronicles 29:16: LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.
  12. I Chronicles 29:17: (David prayed to God) “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these (offerings) I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.”
  13. Ezra 2:68–69: Families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God.  According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work.
  14. Deuteronomy 28:12: The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
  15. Deuteronomy 28:13: The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
  16. Psalm 50:10: Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills…the creatures of the field are mine… the world is mine, and all that is in it.
  17. Deuteronomy 8:18: Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.
  18. Deuteronomy 16:10: Celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the LORD your God has given you.
  19. Deuteronomy 16:16: No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed.
  20. Deuteronomy 16:17: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.
  21. 1 Samuel 30:24: The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.
  22. Isaiah 32:8: The noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.

The noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.

Isaiah 32:8

Tithing in the New Testament

  1. Matthew 23:23: "Woe to you, teachers of the law…You give a tenth…But you have neglected the more important matters-- justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
  2. Luke 6:38: If you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give-- large or small-- will be used to measure what is given back to you.
  3. Luke 6:38: Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
  4. Luke 18:9–14: He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
  5. Matthew 6:1–4: Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
  6. 2 Corinthians 8:2–2: Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.
  7. 2 Corinthians 8:5: They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.
  8. 2 Corinthians 8:7: Just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-- see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
  9. 2 Corinthians 8:9: You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
  10. 2 Corinthians 8:10–11: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.  Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
  11. 2 Corinthians 8:12: If the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

If the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

2 Corinthians 8:12
  1. 2 Corinthians 8:20–21: We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift.  For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.
  2. 2 Corinthians 9:5: I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
  3. 2 Corinthians 9:6: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
  4. 2 Corinthians 9:7: Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
  5. 2 Corinthians 9:8: God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
  6. 2 Corinthians 9:10: Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
  7. 2 Corinthians 9:11: You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
  8. 2 Corinthians 9:12: This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
  9. 2 Corinthians 9:13: Men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
  10. Matthew 6:25: (Jesus said) "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
  11. Matthew 6:26: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
  12. Matthew 6:27–31: Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'   For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
  13. Matthew 6:33–34: Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (food, clothing, drink) will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
  14. Mark 12:41–44: Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-- all she had to live on."
  15. 1 Corinthians 16:2: On every Lord's Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn.
  16. 1 Timothy 6:6–8: Godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
  17. 1 Timothy 6:9: People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
  18. 1 Timothy 6:10: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
  19. 1 Timothy 6:17–19: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
  20. Matthew 6:19–21: (Jesus said) "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  21. Matthew 6:21: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  22. Hebrews 6:10: God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
  23. Acts 2:44–45: All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
  24. Acts 4:34–35: There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
  25. Acts 4:36: Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.
  26. Romans 12:13: Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
  27. Hebrews 13:16: Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
  28. Hebrews 7:1–2: For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.
  29. I John 3:17: If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

I John 3:17
  1. Luke 18:22–25: When Jesus heard this, he said to the rich young ruler, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."  When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.  Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!  Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
  2. Luke 11:42: But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
  3. Galatians 6:6:Those who are taught the Word of God should help their teachers by paying them.
  4. Galatians 6:6: Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.
  5. Matthew 25:35–40: I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'  "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?’…"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
  6. Acts 20:35: (Remember Jesus’ words when he said) “It is more blessed to give than to receive.

There you have it. More info on what a tithe is according to the Bible along with plenty of scriptures to help you both understand tithing as well as generous giving based on Biblical principals and commands.

Over 100 Bible verses on tithing, giving, and generosity.

Remember, tithes were used by God to take care of his people in the Old Testament. But even in the New Testament, it's through generous giving that God continues to bless his people and advance his Kingdom as we remember the importance of giving to support the local church.

Health and Growth

7 Ways Your Church Makes Bad First Impressions (and How to Fix Them)

The first impression your church makes with a new visitor is essential to whether or not they return for another visit. And as a church, you don’t have that much time to influence their decision.

According to Greg Atkinson, founder of First Impressions Conference and author of Secrets of a Secret Shopper, your church only has 10 minutes to make a good (or bad) first impression.

If you want new people in your community to become a part of your church, then you need to know what influences their experience with your church and if they will or will not return for another visit.

Now, before you think this is trivial and not worth your time. Think again. 

We’re not talking about taking out a huge loan so that you can renovate your building with the latest technology and comfortable surroundings. What we’re talking about is reaching your community with the gospel of Jesus Christ and making your guests feel welcomed. 

To help you think through the experience first-time guests will have with your church, you have to take a step back and consider their entire experience from beginning to end. Here are seven ways your church can make a bad first impression.

#1. Your church's website cannot be found or it’s dated

If you need to buy something, learn more about a new restaurant, or figure out what movie to watch, where do you start your search? If you’re like most people in the United States, you search online first

Now, if someone in your community is exploring a new church, where do you think they start their search? If you guessed online first, then you’d be right. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, nearly 60% of people who are 30 or younger will search online before visiting a church. 

As a church leader, here’s what you need to know about this new reality: Your church’s website is your new front door, and your church’s website is the first impression made on many of your potential visitors.

According to research conducted by Stanford, most people (75%) will make a judgment about the credibility of a business based upon their website design. What does this have to do with your church? Well, everything. 

I imagine people viewing your church’s website may have a little more grace when it comes to what they think about your church based on your website. But you must know that the opinion of many of your first-time guests will be informed by your website. We totally understand that it’s not fair for your church to be judged by the appearance of your website. But it happens, and you need to be prepared to connect with the people in your community with your church’s website.

To help you think through the impression your website is making on visitors, here are some questions you must ask:

  • Can people find my website on search engines like Google and Bing?
  • Does my website let visitors know where we're located, what time our services begin, and whether or not we provide childcare?
  • Is the information on my website up to date?
  • Does my website look dated?

There are many more questions you can ask that will help you to think through the effectiveness of your church’s website. But these four questions will at least get you thinking. 

Read SEO Basics: 7 Keys to Optimizing Your Church’s Website to help people find your church online. 

#2. Your social media presence is lacking

It's essential for your church to have a social media strategy. Most of the people in your community use social media in some shape, way, fashion, or form. Many people will discover your church through social media. But what will they see? 

Will they see recent updates or dated posts? 

Will they see that you love Jesus or a political candidate? 

Will they be able to find your church’s website or physical location? 

Will they see that you love people and that you’re serving your community?

Oftentimes, it’s hard to answer these types of questions objectively if you’re the one posting on social media. So, consider asking a friend or volunteer to give you honest feedback about your church’s social media presence. 

For many of you reading this post, we understand that it’s difficult to regularly update your social media accounts. If this is the challenge you face, and you have multiple social media accounts, then consider temporarily focusing your efforts on Facebook and temporarily deactivate your other social media accounts (assuming you have more than one). This way you can master one social media account instead of trying to keep up with many different social media platforms.

#3. Your parking lot is hard to find

First-time visitors have many hurdles to cross before making it into your church's front door. As a church leader, your goal is to minimize as many potential obstacles as you can to make it easy for someone to visit your church. One area you need to keep an eye on is your parking lot and parking lot attendants. 

If someone has worked up the nerve to visit your church, you don’t want to make it difficult for them to figure out where they should park. Make sure  your parking lot is well marked from the main road. And, if possible, save a few parking spots for guests. What is more, providing parking spots for expectant mothers, families with small children, and providing shelter from the weather will go a long way in creating a great first impression. 

Alright, now that you’ve successfully led someone to a parking spot, are your parking lot attendants ready to greet visitors with a smile? This is where the rubber really meets the road (pun intended).

Depending upon the location of your church’s building, the first person a visitor will see or meet at your church may be the volunteers serving in your parking lot. So it’s essential for this volunteer team to be well-trained, able to spot first-time guests, and make sure that newcomers are well-received. 

#4. Your signs are not visible or clear 

Here’s the thing you have to remember about first-time guests: They’re probably nervous or uncomfortable. It’s their first-time visiting your worship service, and they have no idea what to personally expect or where to go.

When a visitor is in this state of mind, they’re not taking their time to explore your facilities. They want to get to where they need to go as fast as possible. If your signs are not visible and clear, then you’re unintentionally exasperating your visitors nervous feelings, which isn’t a good thing.

Your church building is probably easy to get around. But for your visitors, it may feel like a maze.

 

Make sure your church’s signage is visible, and that it provides people with the directions they need.

Here are some important locations you need to mark in your building and on your property with signs:

  • Parking
  • Building Directory
  • Office
  • Nursery, children, and youth rooms
  • Restrooms
  • Information Center
  • Sanctuary

#5. Your greeters and ushers don’t greet or usher

Your greeters and ushers may be your most important visible volunteers during your worship service. Depending upon the set up of your church building and parking lot, your greeters and ushers may be the first personal contact your guests have with your church.

Are your greeters and ushers visibly present at every entrance? 

Can your greeters and ushers identify first-time guests? 

Do your greeters and ushers warmly welcome visitors? 

Will your greeters and ushers help your visitors find what they’re looking for?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then your church is making a bad first impression. 

Your greeters and ushers don’t have to act overtly excited like this guy with first-time guests:

 

But your greeters and ushers will need to make your visitors feel welcomed, answer their questions, and provide directions if needed. 

#6. Your nursery and children’s area makes people uncomfortable

My wife and I have five children, and you best believe that we’re eyeing the nursery and children’s area of the churches we visit. Like everyone else with children, we want to know if the nursery and children’s areas are clean, safe, and staffed with volunteers

Parents and guardians want to know that their children are well taken care of during your church’s worship service. They are entrusting you with the most precious thing they have—their children. 

If your nursery or children’s areas doesn't make people feel comfortable, then don’t expect them to visit your church again. I understand this sounds harsh. But this is something essential you need to know. 

#7. Your seating is crowded

How difficult is it to find a seat in your sanctuary or meeting place? Will first-time guests be able to quickly find a seat? Do you have ushers positioned at your different entrances to escort guests to a seat? 

When it comes to your seating, visitors aren’t necessarily interested in plush leather seats or theater style chairs. Remember, your guests already feel uncomfortable. All they want to do is to find a place to sit as quickly as possible. 

To make it easy for your first-time guests find a seat, make sure your ushers are available before your worship service starts and at least 10-15 minutes after your service begins. 

Making a better first impression

If this post inspired you to make the best impression you can with your first-time guests, then you should check out the First Impressions Conference. In this 3-day online conference, you’ll learn everything your church needs to know to improve the experience of your first-time guests. 

What is the worst experience you had visiting a church for the first time? Share your experience in the comments below!

Expert Tips on How to Effectively Launch a New Online Giving Tool

01
Make it accessible so people can give in the way that is most comfortable to them. Don't make it hard for people to give money.
Some people like to give online, some like mobile, some like text. Whatever they like, let them give in that way if you can.
02
Brady Shearer
www.storytape.com
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
03
Michael Lukaszewski
www.churchfuel.com
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
04
Teach it in your new member class.
Allow for people to sign-up right on the spot via their mobile phone (or through a laptop or iPad for those that don't have a mobile device handy).
05
Justin Dean
www.thatcc.com
On launch weekend, have volunteers and staff accessible with iPads to walk people through how to set up an account and get recurring giving configured.
06
Daniel Irmler
www.churchhero.com
On a regular basis, tell stories from members who are using and loving it. 
You don't don’t need a big production value shoot. Keep it simple by using an iPhone (horizontal) and a decent mic.
07
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
08
Nik Goodner
www.crtvchurch.com
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
09
Kevin Ekmark
www.church.org
I always tell people, "you need to clean your house before you invite friends over". It's crucial that your giving platform is easily found, whether it's on the web or in the church. 
On the web, making sure that your website is mobile friendly (Google and Bing both recommend mobile responsive design) can be a huge help. You can also incorporate bots from Facebook or a service like Intercom to help walk people through online giving on your website. When necessary, a human can jump in and help too. This helps complete the process from being found online to completing the online giving.
10
Logan Fields
www.theappguys.org
Tell them the real reasons. Giving members are concerned with what's best for the church and not just what they individually prefer. Transparency.
"This platform will allow us to better manage finances and spend less staff time on the books and more on people." etc. The temptation is to treat members like consumers who we need to impress instead of team members. Treat them like equals who you assume are interested in what's best for the church/ mission and people will likely rise to it.
11
Kenny Jahng
www.kennyjahng.com
Launch a $3.16 campaign. Ask people to all give just $3.16 to a weekly or bi-weekly blessing fund. Then, pick one person or cause to bless IN TOWN and go give that person all the money collected.
  • It could be the all volunteer firefighter squad in town. "We'll take all the $3.16's collected and go buy a meal or treat and drop off for the firefighters who volunteer."
  • It could be a widow the church knows about - bless her with something new for her home or hobby or pets.
  • Single mothers - supply them with a night out. Or pay for a house cleaner or a handyman for a couple of hours.
  • Special needs families - pay for evening out for the parents and child care for the special needs kids so the parents get a break.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
This works incredibly well because you are teaching generosity / outward posture to your people on a consistent basis and getting people to give on mobile- while making it about PARTICIPATION vs AMOUNT. You'll have people regularly trying out the mobile option as well as pre-register them in the system.

There you have it! Some amazing tips, right?

Which tip stood out the most to you … or looked to be the craziest?! Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

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7 Ways Your Church Makes Bad First Impressions (and How to Fix Them)

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly powers mobile, text, and web giving for
churches and ministries.

LEARN MORE
Sign Up