I recently received questions regarding tithing — how to start, and whether it was permissible to tithe time instead of money.
Tithing is a spiritual discipline that is huge for our spiritual growth and breakthroughs. It’s the key to letting blessings, faith, and victories flow in your life. Tithing time is a noble alternative to tithing money when people have no income (think students, those unemployed, etc.). But for those who are making income, no matter how small it is, nothing replaces the giving of money. (Think of the story of the woman who gave all she had — two “pennies” — but it was more than the biggest donation given by those with wealth).
We don’t trust in our time as much as we trust in our money. By giving it away, we are saying we trust God, not ourselves and not our money, to provide for us. If you’re not at a point where you can give 10%, then start with something that’s more than what you’re giving now. Like $50/month. Then gradually work up from there.
Niki and I have a personal goal to give more each year than we did the year before. We give well over 10%. This past year we had a lofty giving goal. When we found out at the end of the year that we met it, we spontaneously responded with a very animated high-five! It was hard, but we did it!!! (I think our tax prep guy thinks we’re crazy… then again, we probably are. Love makes you do crazy things). I’d love to see us get to a point where we’re living on 10% and giving the rest away. We’re a long way from that.
What can you cut from your life? (That night out?) What sacrifice can you make? (A new car?) Could you pick up another part-time job just to make extra money for giving? These are some of the things many believers do so they can make tithing and giving happen.
Aside from that, one idea that comes to mind for giving time (which could be in addition to tithing) is to offer babysitting nights (2-3/month) to parents in your church or in your extended community. This goes a long way to loving on people and strengthening marriages. Of course, there also might be special serving projects with which your church needs help.