For the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Treasurer Juan Prestol-Puesan, the total gross amount of tithe in 2018, a record-breaking $2.5 billion, was thus, the church’s biggest story of the year. Tithe went up $89 million, or 3.6%, he told the Church’s Executive Committee at their Spring Meeting. The increase in the United States was particularly dramatic. It went from $1.022 billion to $1.077 billion. Mission offerings worldwide were also up to $88.3 million, although where the increase occurred was the reverse of the tithe story. The U.S. mission offerings were flat, but they went up in the rest of the world.
Based on the report that the money keeps pouring in so freely, maybe the GC understood that people are already being compliant enough. If they comply with their monetary obligations, this is what matters the most anyway. Therefore, let’s just leave the “other compliance” alone for a while - not to disturb what is going so well now…
Too much money in the coffers is a seductive factor that fuels a sense of entitlement that constituents are supportive of any actions officers place in their agenda, even when it is against their own Working Policy.
TW will take this as a validation for his ultra right conservative policies.
The real truth is that another conservative person is at the root of this augmentation in tithe income : DONALD TRUMP!
Our splendid President has created a roaring economy.
Our Caucasian, more wealthy members, mostly retirees, have seen huge boosts in their pension funds / investment holdings / IRAs , due to an incendiary stock market. And the value of homes / real estate is also in an uptrend.
Blacks, Hispanics, Asians have the lowest unemployment rates in history. Since Adventism in NAD today, is heavily weighted to minority groups, the economic boost for this demographic is now reflected in stellar tithe receipts. Even teenagers are reveling in great job opportunities.
Salary growth, particularly for the lower earning groups, is in an uptrend.
Bottom line : When people feel more economically secure, they open their pocket books.
Maybe they are stealing a slogan from the Atlanta Diocese of Episcopalians!!
“The Go Guide: 10 steps for innovations in ministry from Luke 10”. Was created
and published in September 2016.
Read Luke 10:1-42. 2. Appointed. 3.Sent. 4. Go Together. 5. Pray.
Travel Light. 7. Stick With It. 8. Ask Questions. 9. Check the Ditches.
Bandage Somebody. 11. Keep Listening. 12.Epilogue – Get Going.
Except it is OK to partner with other E. churches in and out of the Diocese.
OK to partner with Non- E. neighbors for the common good.
Consult the community BEFORE deciding on a project.
Potential of becoming self-sustaining in 3 years.
Does not have to reach huge numbers of people – and is not “charity” or “help”.
Has to have built in ways of measuring how well the experiment is successful or not.
Has a detailed budget.
What is your idea of getting the church [the people of God] outside the building?
Should have the potential for mutual transformation and growth – of all involved.
St. Francis partners with 6 community groups and contributes to their budget needs,
and members also volunteer with them. We also partner with a group who supports
the education of 250 Haitian children, grades 1-6 every year. It was originally begun
by a St. Francis Sunday School class with a budget of $1000 per year. Now the
Budget Needs is $60,000 a year. And LOTS of Macon businesses contribute to it,
in addition to 3 Macon Episcopal churches.
Absolutely, since the multi layered administrative structure of Adventism was set up in the “horse and buggy “ age
—pre freeways, pre automobiles, pre planes, pre telephones, pre internet. In those days travel was arduous and slow, so it was appropriate to have conference offices close to congregations.
Nowadays a stockbroker on a Caribbean island can compete with his colleagues on Wall Street thanks to instantaneous electronic communication.
Simarlarly, moving our administrative offices further apart will have no adverse impact on congregations nor constituents.
Our church structure, in NAD, first put in place more than one hundred years ago, demands drastic overhaul and diminution to be cost effective.
But as long as the tithe dollars roll in, there is no incentive for reform.
Plus multiple entrenched interests, protect their own turf!
The tithe was part of the OT temple system. It was given in terms of produce, not money, in order to support the Levitical priesthood. Now, there is no more temple…nor Levitical priesthood. The NT gives not one single direction to the post- resurrection church that tithe is to be paid in money or any other form. Where would they have stored it anyway? However, the gospel was preached and people gave willingly of their goods and belongings in order to take care of those among them who were needy, and those who preached the gospel. It was not a law. It was an outgrowth of grace received.
Paul conducted a collection among his Gentile congregations to help the poor Jewish believers. It is the only systematic giving of which he spoke. It was voluntary, and meant to show solidarity between Gentiles and Jews as the one people of God.
In Adventism, giving has been made into law. The GC or local conferences are now the storehouses? Tithing is imposed on New Covenant believers for entrance into the body of Christ? But, not imposed to continue in fellowship?? What doesn’t add up in this picture? A confused and unscriptural mess.
However…SDA school attendance is waning and more schools are closing every year. Demographics are changing and results are being seen.
When I was in Colorado Springs a few weeks ago there was a sermon by one of the Elders about tithe. In her sermon, she said that she paid tithe despite not being able to buy groceries for the week (?!?).
The Elder related a story of going to work without breakfast. One of her employers asked her to lunch and this was attributed as a “miracle” and her leftovers were the next day’s breakfast!
We were all admonished in the sermon to not “steal from God”. However, it sounded crazy to me to think that God would desire her to go without food so that her tithe could go to pay Pastor’s salaries for the month, etc.
I just don’t respond to the guilt anymore…especially when you have to throw common sense out the window.