There is no getting away from it; the kingdom of God is operated by tithes and offerings.
However, people are distrustful of the systems that God has set up because of greedy men and women who have exploited the teachings of sowing and reaping for personal gain.
In Africa, it costs an estimated $1 to get a person saved, yet preachers and ministers in the Western world spend thousands on fleets of luxury cars, private jets (when they don’t even have a preaching schedule to fulfill) and other private desires that have nothing to do with ministry or the preaching of the gospel. The main salaried people in their ministry are other family members and they have no qualms about inventing new names for offerings to persuade people to give more.
Something is wrong here. While I see in the Word that the gospel will cause us to prosper in every department of life, there surely is a limit to how many cars a single individual can drive! It seems that the work of the ministry is far from their minds, and they have forgotten the weight of the commission Jesus gave to us all.
However, just because we have witnessed these things, does that mean we should stop engaging in the dynamic spiritual principles of sowing and reaping and of seedtime and harvest? By no means.
Let’s set some records straight. We don’t apologize for anything we do, including taking offerings, since we are born again and we want the full package of what God has for us as believers.
However, it is spiritually illegal for any pastor to receive tithes and offerings from people who he doesn’t feed. So a pastor who merely shares some thoughts, or gets excited and gets everyone to shout without giving them anything from the Word to build their lives with, is contravening spiritual law. It is the responsibility of the pastor to nourish and feed the people God entrusts to Him before He thinks of taking an offering.
On the flip side, when, as a believer, you receive spiritual things, you reciprocate with natural things. It is equally wrong for the people of God to receive spiritual enrichment and fail to make a contribution, but to be closed and unresponsive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to release seed. This, too, contravenes spiritual law.
When people don’t understand the significance of their spiritual connection, they fail to close the loop with tithes and offerings.
If you are in the right ministry, you will receive spiritual food when you show up. That’s an indication that THIS is the man of God who God has sent to you. That is your cue to sow into that anointing, which has fed you. That is the seed which will bring your supernatural increase.
Ministry costs money, but we never lock the door and demand that people give. Nor do we resort to gimmicks and emotional manipulation. Consequently we don’t promise special privileges to the person who gives more, and we don’t invite people to flaunt their generosity for all to see by making it public knowledge in the service. These are tools for the manipulator.
We recognize that people’s money and resources are precious and their seed is a gift from God, Himself. We have respect for people’s walk with God and their ability to act responsibly towards the purposes of God. Their finances can’t be abused.
I learnt very early on not to ask the people to give any specific amount, since that is between them and God. I was once about to ask everyone to give one thousand, but sensed God telling me not to. In the offering that day, one person put in a check for tens of thousands! I was so glad I let the Holy Spirit lead!
We expect people to be sensitive to what God is prompting them to do and to give freely and willingly so that the work of the gospel can prosper.
When we get people who understand their contribution, and the pastor understands that he mustn’t screw his people for money, we can achieve balance. The needs of the gospel will be met and the people of God will prosper and increase as they are supposed to.
You can’t keep someone broke who gives according to the principles of the Kingdom!