Financial giving can be a sensitive subject for churches, but the Bible has a lot to say about money. Talking about tithes and offerings is essential for the church’s growth and for the individuals who give.
You may have heard this, but the Bible has 2,350 scriptures on finances, giving, and our attitude towards money and wealth. Giving is about much more than simply supporting the church’s budget!
So, when and how you discuss tithes and offerings in your church service can make a tremendous difference, and we’re excited to talk more about that!
Table of contents
Why Are Tithes and Offerings Important?
Money is a touchy subject. Although it’s bad form to talk about finances at a dinner party, we’re called to preach the whole Bible, and we’d be remiss not to teach on giving and how to manage money. Jesus wasn’t afraid to talk about money or people’s attitude toward wealth, and we shouldn’t be either.
This subject touches on deeply rooted beliefs and values such as our sense of security, our attitude towards work, and ultimately our trust in God to provide for us. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
God is concerned with our financial well-being, and tithes and offerings are one way that we can honor Him with our resources. When we give, we acknowledge that everything we have belongs to God. We are simply returning what He has generously given to us.
We are also committing to using our resources in a way that will please Him, help others, and impact the world around us to advance the kingdom. And when we give generously and cheerfully, it is an act of worship that brings joy to God’s heart (2 Corinthians 9:7).
When Should You Talk About Tithes and Offering?
The timing for tithes and offerings primarily impacts your newer guests. Veteran church members know you’ll have a time for giving at some point in the service, and usually don’t think too much about it.
On the other hand, new guests might be taken aback or caught off guard by an ill-timed or poorly presented call for tithes and offerings.
We can’t give you an undisputed best time for doing your offering, but here are some general thoughts.
Beginning of Service
From the church’s perspective, it might be nice to talk about tithes and offerings at the beginning of service to get it over and done. However, you don’t want that to be your new guest’s first impression. Talking about the offering right out of the gate will confirm one of the worst stereotypes about churches that skeptics have: “churches just want your money.”
Middle of Service
Giving is a form of worship, so many churches mention tithes and offerings following the worship (singing) service, perhaps along with prayer and church announcements. However, without the right timing and tone, shifting to the topic of giving can feel like a bait-and-switch or simply abrupt and jarring.
End of Service
Other churches choose to end their service with tithes and offering. Although you may lose some people who are checking out physically or mentally, waiting until the end of service to bring up the subject feels right for many churches.
Whatever moment you choose, it’s good form to discuss giving as an act of worship and pray over people’s offerings. Ultimately, only you can decide the best moment for tithes and offerings for your church and service flow!
How Should You Talk About Tithes and Offering in Church Service?
We know of some churches that don’t mention an opportunity to give from the stage or pulpit. Some will simply pass buckets at a designated time in service (although we know most people are giving online rather than in person, this can still serve as a physical reminder).
The main problem with a “silent” give is that most people don’t understand the importance and biblical precedent for tithing unless it’s explained to them and they have some teaching on this subject.
Other churches have giving boxes or kiosks available and may advertise ways to give through bulletins, slides, or perhaps in the announcement video.
One benefit of using video is getting the wording just right, which is helpful when you’re covering a sensitive subject. But, on the other hand, it may come across as impersonal and too much like a business transaction when mentioned in a recorded announcement versus a teaching and prayer moment from a live speaker.
Finally, most churches we see have a live speaker announcing the opportunity to give, usually providing some background or a story, a scripture, and prayer. Here are some final thoughts on the delivery of that service segment.
Do’s and Don’ts of Tithes and Offerings in Church Service
Let’s cover some of the “don’ts” regarding tithes and offerings.
- Don’t make it the main focus of your service. Tithes and offerings are one part of the big picture.
- Don’t put pressure on people to give. Never make people feel like they’re being watched or judged based on how they give.
- Don’t make people feel manipulated. Tithes and offerings shouldn’t be tied to emotional hype, sensational tear-jerker stories, or false promises.
- Don’t joke about taking people’s money. It’s tempting to use humor to lighten the mood when discussing a loaded subject like giving, but you should avoid anything that could be misconstrued, offensive, or cringey.
With those out of the way, let’s talk about a few “do’s” to keep in mind.
- Do support your discussion of tithes and offering with applicable scriptures. For example, check out our post with 18 Scriptures on Giving.
- Do make it voluntary and anonymous. Focus on the principle of giving and biblical basis over the actions of any individual.
- Do stay theologically sound. Avoid the temptation to promise people a specific outcome or guaranteed reward for giving that strays from what we see in Scripture.
- Do offer a disclaimer for new visitors. It can be helpful to specify that this portion of service is for regular attendees and if it’s someone’s first time there’s no expectation for them to give.
There are some critical do’s and don’ts when discussing tithes and church service offerings. With the right approach, your church can emphasize giving as an act of worship that is vital to the health and growth of your congregation.
What other tips would you add for churches mentioning tithes and offerings? Let us know in the comments!