Keeping the Tithe Holy | Pastor Glen Johnson

Keeping the Tithe Holy
Pastor Glen Johnson

Faith Center, (Vancouver, WA)

Rick Sharkey Pastors Glen &
Theresa Johnson

1. What did you formerly do regarding the receiving of tithes and offerings?  How was this done in your church?

On a typical Sunday I would get up on the platform and start by speaking a verse, telling everyone God wanted them to prosper and giving a small uplifting thought for people in the area of finances. We would pray and run our video announcements while people passed the offering buckets.

2. What prompted you to make a change?

As our church entered into the New Year, 2010, I began to notice a downward trend in our offerings the first three weeks. I had been speaking, believing and standing in faith for our church finances all the way through the economic downturn the world has been having and as I saw the church finances continue to decline it forced me to ask, where is the God of the Bible? Where is the ABUNDANT God of the Bible? Obviously, God is the same yesterday today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), so He wasn’t the one missing the opportunity to bless us, we as a church were the ones missing something. I began really seeking and praying about it and one Tuesday night, at 1:45 in the morning, I was abruptly brought out of sleep by the Lord’s voice in my spirit very clearly stating these four words: THE TITHE IS HOLY. My assumption from this was somehow we had made the tithe unholy. The Holy Sprit began to make things clear to me and I believe we have made the tithe unholy in the two following ways.

The first being, for whatever reason, people have decided they are not going to tithe, be it doctrinal issues or bad experiences in a church. People have decided that tithing is either Old Testament and not for the current Christian or they cannot bring themselves to trust God in the situation of their finances.

The second reason, which rocked my world, is that we have made the tithe unholy by treating it in an unholy manner. When we received tithes and offerings, people would use that time to go to the bathroom, chit-chat with their neighbor, or get some last minute text messages sent out while checking to make sure their phone was on vibrate. I began to think about what would happen if this same scenario occurred while we were at the Lord’s Table serving communion. People would say that’s way out of place, yet we do the very thing every Sunday morning during the offering which was always meant to be equally holy.

I began to see things about acceptable sacrifices and unacceptable sacrifices. Philippians 4:17-19, “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” We know verse nineteen very well, but we forget about verse eighteen where, Paul received an offering from the people which was an acceptable and fragrant offering unto the Lord. Which only goes to show; if there is an acceptable offering, then there is an unacceptable offering. An excellent example of the two end of the spectrum of unacceptable and acceptable giving is the story of Cain and Able in Genesis 4.

3. What specific changes have you made?  What now happens in your church when tithes and offerings are received?

We have completely changed the way we receive offerings, it is now the same atmosphere as if we were receiving communion. Couples pray and worship together over their offering and it is a holy and consecrated time in our church.

I am no longer telling my congregation to tithe and give their ten percent, I am telling them to keep their tithe holy. Through all of this Malachi 3:7-9 began to make sense to me. “Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. 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.”

I don’t think after you’ve become a Christian and you still don’t tithe that you get a special Christian curse. I think what he is saying here is he wants us to return to him with our tithe, pointing out the fact that the way we are doing things obviously aren’t working. The curse is our doing things our way, instead of God’s way, which allows him to pour out his blessings. He wasn’t asking for our ten percent only, but that we would worship him WITH our tithe. I began to study every scripture on tithing in the bible and it became evident that every time there was an offering mentioned it was a “heave” offering, or a consecrated offering and it was a holy time; a reverent time.

4. What differences are you now seeing in your services, in the church overall, and in the lives of the people?

Testimonies of lives being changed; favor on our congregation have poured into our office because we worshiped God with our tithes. Our churches finances are up 30%-35% in the time we have done this and it has revolutionized the finances of the people in our church and we will never, not make the tithe holy again.