Funds and church memberhsipgreenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
Happy New to all of you. I trust that the holidays were a blessing to you. It has been some time that I have contributed to the Board, but a freind wanted to know what you all think about these three questions: 1. How should announmous funds be handled when received by the church? 2. Does the amount a church member tithes determmine what positions can be held in the church? 3. Since tithing goes beyond just financial giving, should the amount a church member gives be an issue the member and the pastor or the member and God? Thanks for your help. Katherine Thompson
-- Anonymous, January 04, 2005
Sis Thompson - Greetings and Happy New Year,
Three interesting questions. I don't proport to have the answers, but I will offer these opinions.
1. Anonymous funds: Open and forthright acknowledgement of these funds seems the proper course. Both officers of the church and the general membership should be informed of the blessing so that all can celebrate the gift. Further, since such gifts are not factored generally factored into the budget processes of the church, the expected distribution of the funds should be agreed upon by the general board.
2. Amount Tithed and church position: No, it should not determine what position can be held. However, it may determine what position should not be held. Ok, what's the difference? Tithing as you say goes beyond financial giving, involving time and talent as well. It is a basic indicator of one's sense of responsibility to the church and their obedience to the Lord. Since positions in the church come with varying degrees of responsibility, tithing (in its fullest meaning) could be used as a measure of one's ability to meet the responsibiities of a given church position.
3. Between member/pastor or member/God? All of the above.
There are no facts stated here, just opinion!
God bless you,
-- Anonymous, January 05, 2005
Based on my experience, the amount a church member tithes should not determine what positions can and should be held in the church. That is impossible, since most people receive varying incomes, and it is quite possible that the members who make the most money and tithe their 10% will win out everytime. Positioning in the church should be spirit-led and should be based on the person's commitment, talents, ability and certainly interest. Not how much they give. As you know, there are many people who give to the church, but may not be equipped to handle or commit to a "position" in the church. Having said that, I think that pastors do need to begin setting some standards. I will use a very large (mega) church in my community (non-AME church) as an example. This church teaches tithing from the minute members join the church, so it is almost expected that all members will tithe from the minute they enter the church's doors. Also, this church emphasizes weekly Bible study. Members sign up for Bible Study classes and at the end of the session, the members receive certificates of completion for Bible Study classes. When it is time to select officers of the church (they are called Ministry Lead Partners--they feel like "officers" sounds too corporate) there are certain criteria that must be met 1) weekly Bible Study participation and/so many specialty Bible Study classes completed; 2) so many years membership in the church; 3) Tithing. 4) Participation in various other ministries of the church. What has been the members participation in other ministries, such as the choir, the usher board, soup kitchen, youth groups, etc. The meeting of these criteria do not guarantee the selection of good, committed people every time, but by lifting up these standards, it lets the members know that the leadership of the church is serious about high standards in the Body of Christ. As was stated earlier, I have listed no facts here, just opinions. Take care and God bless.
-- Anonymous, January 07, 2005
The AME Church teaches that all members are to Tithe. The Tithe was established from the beginning to make all members equal. The richest of the rich who gives 1/10 is less than the one who gives his all according to Jesus. The Tithe on an income of $1.00 is equal in spirit to the Tithe on an income of $1Billion. God will accept freewill offerings above the tithe. The AME Discipline requires that all officers give the tithe, making all of them equal. Jesus said that both your treasure and your heart reside in the same place. If one cannot give the tithe him/her self, then how can they teach others to do so?
-- Anonymous, January 07, 2005