Getting Started on Instagram for Churches: 7 Tips for Beginners

March 26, 2018
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Health and Growth

Getting Started on Instagram for Churches: 7 Tips for Beginners

Health and Growth

Getting Started on Instagram for Churches: 7 Tips for Beginners

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

Getting Started on Instagram for Churches: 7 Tips for Beginners

After Facebook, Instagram is arguably the next best social media platform for your church to use.

Instagram has over 800 million users, and more than 500 daily active users. From among these active users, Instagram projects that 96 million people in the United States will use Instagram by the end of 2018. To put this another way, this means—at a minimum—30% of the people in your church and community use Instagram. Let those numbers sink in for a moment.

It’s easy to let your eyes glaze over when you read statistics like this. But social media is the new water cooler in your community. Social media is where most people in your town spend time connecting with their friends, sharing their life, and keeping up with the latest trends and news.

As a church leader, it’s essential for you to engage your community on social media. Connecting with your community on social media will help you to lead them to connect with you and your church face-to-face.

We know many of you who are reading this post don’t have a communications department at your church, a dedicated social media volunteer, or even extra time to spare for social media. But that’s okay.

We’re going to walk you through a simple step-by-step process to help you set up an Instagram account for your church, and a time-efficient plan you can use to reach your community with the gospel of Jesus Christ on Instagram.

Let’s get started.

#1. Create your username

Your username on Instagram is your identity.

If possible, obtain a username similar to your church’s name or your church’s website and other social media accounts. For example, if your church’s name is Trinity Church, create an Instagram user that is similar to your church’s name (e.g., @TrinityChurch) or a variation (e.g., @TriChurch).

When creating your username, there are two things you need to know:

  1. You only have 30 characters to work with
  2. Your username can only contain letters, numbers, or underscores

To create your username, you may have to be creative since a name similar to your church may be already in use.

#2. Optimize your bio

Your bio on Instagram is prime real estate. It’s the place where you introduce yourself to your followers and provide one primary call to action.

For your bio, here are two things to keep in mind:

Description

You have 150 characters to use in your bio.

Use this limited space to let people know about your church, compel people to follow you, and lead them to take one specific step.

Website

Instagram provides you with a space to add your church’s website (or a different site), and you can also add a URL in your bio. But the URL you add in your bio will not be clickable. In other words, people will have to copy and paste the URL you add to their web browser.

To add a website to your profile, go to your account and click “Edit Profile.” Then add your church’s website or a different site in the “website” section.

To include a URL in your “Bio,” the only thing you need to do is type it into the “Bio” section.

#3. Add a photo to your profile

Don’t forget to add a photo of your church.

For the sake of consistency, upload a photo or logo of your church that you use elsewhere online or social media. Using a similar image on Instagram will create a seamless experience for your online followers.

Don’t worry about creating a custom image for Instagram. When you add your photo, Instagram will automatically crop your profile photo into a circle 110 pixels in diameter.

For more info on how to optimize your profile photo, check out these instructions from Instagram.

#4. Use hashtags

For Instagram, hashtags are a way to get involved in conversations. Instagram users use hashtags to see what’s going on in their community, with their friends, or to keep up with celebrities or the the things they like.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram users are open to including a lot of hashtags in your posts. In fact, Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags per post. But this doesn’t mean you should cram every post you publish with this many hashtags.

According to TrackMaven, they “found a steady increase in average interactions up through four to five hashtags per post.” Based on their study, they did observe a decrease in the number of people who interact with your Instagram posts if you include more than five hashtags. But, as you can see from the image below, there is a slight increase in the number of interactions when you include 10-11 hashtags.

For Church Instagram hashtags, you want to find out what works best for you, and you don’t want to add just any hashtag. 

Brady Shearer of Pro Church Tools suggests that your church includes the following types of Instagram hashtags in your posts:

  1. Custom—e.g., #centralliving or #centralcommunitychurch
  2. Community—e.g., #niagararegion or #niagarafallscanada
  3. Faith—e.g., #jesusislove or #churchfamily

To this list, we also suggest participating in relevant hashtags used throughout the week. Here are some to consider:

  • #MondayMotivation
  • #MusicMonday
  • #TransformationTuesday
  • #WisdomWednesday
  • #ThrowbackThursday
  • #ThankfulThursday
  • #FridayReads
  • #FollowFriday
  • #ShoutoutSaturday
  • #SundayRead
  • #WeekendVibes

We’ll get into ideas on what you can post next. In the meantime, don’t feel overwhelmed by everything you can do. Make a realistic assessment of how much time you can invest in posting and commenting (more on this later) on Instagram.

#5. Start sharing!

Now that your Instagram profile is optimized, it’s time to get ready to share.

At first, don’t overwhelm yourself with sharing too many times. A good goal to aim for at first is 3-4 posts per week. After you get the hang of things and you’re posting consistently, then consider increasing how often to share to 1-2 times per day.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some post ideas for you to consider sharing:

  • Share Scripture or quotes from your sermons
  • Go behind the scenes
  • Invite people to your services and events
  • Celebrate baptisms and communion
  • Highlight a volunteer or community service
  • Share images or videos of your worship service
  • Lead people to your church’s website
  • Advertise an upcoming sermon or sermon series
  • Get involved in Instagram conversations

There are plenty of ideas to help you get started, but these articles will show you some of the best Church Instagram accounts and they'll also help you to get rolling, too:

Now, before you complete you share your new Instagram post, be sure to include your location.

Adding your location to your posts will help people in your community to find your account.

#6. Get involved with your community

There’s a reason this step follows optimizing your profile and posting on Instagram. Before you can engage your community on Instagram, you don’t want to invite them to an account full of… nothing.

Connecting with people on Instagram without having anything posted is like tapping on someone’s shoulder to get their attention and then not saying anything. Awkward, right?

As you consistently post on Instagram and optimize your posts with key hashtags, you will slowly build a following. However, as you follow and engage with people in your community and local businesses and organizations, you’ll create a highly targeted local audience.

Do restaurants in your community have an Instagram account? What about local service providers, like dentists, gyms, and car maintenance? What about your city government? Do they have an account?

As you get started, try to follow 5-10 new local accounts or church members every day. You’ll be able to think of a few locations off of the top of your head, but you can also search for people and places in your community by typing in your area in Instagram’s search bar.

#7. Collaborate with your church

Throughout the history of marketing, businesses and organizations have partnered with a variety of influencers to promote their products or services. From athletes and models to actresses and community leaders, companies have leveraged the support of influencers.

As a church, you can adapt influencer marketing for your use by partnering together with members of your church on Instagram. Don’t click off of this page in a furry. Give me a moment to explain.

Depending on the location and demographics of your church, there’s a substantial likelihood that your congregation has many people on Instagram.

To help you reach your community and make connections with people, consider partnering together with the Instagram users in your church to “regram,” provide them with content ideas and images they can share, or to brainstorm ideas together.

Working with a group of people in your church will accelerate your efforts to get better connected with people in your community on Instagram.

Time to get started on Instagram

Slow down one moment, and take a deep breath.

Setting up an Instagram account for your church or optimizing your account doesn’t need to feel overwhelming. We're going to provide you with a plan you can handle or delegate to a staff member or volunteer.

Week 1: Build your Instagram profile

If you’re just getting started, don’t worry about what hashtags you’ll use or what images you’ll share. The only thing you need to focus on is getting your Instagram profile ready.

To get started, focus on the first four steps outlined above:

  1. Create your username
  2. Optimize your bio
  3. Add a photo to your profile
  4. Add your location

During this time, you’re more than welcome to share something. But I wouldn’t worry about doing that right now. Preparing your Instagram profile will keep you busy if you want to do it right.

Time: Assuming you have a photo you can use, set aside 1-2 hours to build your profile. If you do not have a profile photo you can use, connect with someone in your church or in your community to take a picture or create a logo.

Week 2: Create your social media strategy

I know you’re excited to get started and may feel pressured to share something now that you have your account ready. But don’t feel pressured to get started. It’s best to take the time to develop your plan first.

During the second week, it will be time for you to focus on these two steps:

  1. Use hashtags
  2. Start sharing!

The first thing you want to do is to assess how much time you have to devote to Instagram or delegate this responsibility to someone else. If you delegate social media responsibilities, aim to review the plan with whoever puts it together for you and to check in on all of your accounts at least once per week to see how things are going and to participate yourself.

Related: How to Create Your Church’s Social Media Strategy in Minutes

"What hashtags should I use?"

Commit to including 10-15 different hashtags in your posts throughout the week.

"What types of post will you publish during the week?"

Decide ahead of time what types of posts you will publish on specific days of the week. Knowing what you’re going to post ahead of time will keep you from second-guessing.

Time: Expect to spend 2-3 hours building your Instagram posting plan.

Week 3: (Really) Start sharing!

Alright, now it’s time for you to have some fun.

For the third week, you’ll want to implement the plan you created. Publish your posts, and spend time connecting with people and organizations in your community and responding to comments on your posts.

Time: The range of time for this step may take you 1-3 hours. The amount of time you or a member of your staff or a volunteer spends will depend upon his or her skills and experience getting images ready and writing eye-catching captions.

Ongoing: Plan on engaging

Here’s the main thing you need to know about social media: It’s social.

For better or worst, people in your community are using Instagram to share life with others. They’re sharing images of their daily life, and they’re interacting with others.

To get the most out of Instagram and make meaningful connections with people in your community, you’ll need to spend time on Instagram.

Every week, you’ll need to follow these two points we highlighted above:

  1. Get involved with your community
  2. Collaborate with your church

There will be weeks when you or whoever is overseeing your social media accounts will not be able to be social on Instagram. But don’t sweat it.

The big idea we'd like for you to walk away with is that you’ll need to plan on spending time on Instagram every week to reach people in your community with the gospel.

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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Getting Started on Instagram for Churches: 7 Tips for Beginners

Tithe.ly

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

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Sign Up