Christian Articles Archive

Teaching Baby Boomers to Tithe

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

How can you teach tithing to baby boomers without making them feel too uncomfortable? Here's a tried and true approach we dusted off to use in a new church.

After Easter last year we set aside the last Sunday in April as "Tithing Demonstration Sunday." We introduced an adventure to see how big an offering we could give together if everyone tithed one week's income and gave it on April 28th. This is how we proceeded each week in the month of April:

Week One

I distributed a "guessing sheet" on Sunday, April 7th which I asked people to calculate our potential giving on April 28th. I gave them quarterly figures for weekly attendance, average weekly giving, and average per capita giving. I had hooked their interest and sense of adventure. They guessed between $1,400 and $1,800, though we were only receiving about $750 per week at that time.

That week I sent the first of three mailings--personalizing a photocopied letter with salutation, underlinings and my signature in contrasting ink. In this letter I told them how to calculate a tithe. I used the annual ABC stewardship stationary, envelopes, "hang-overs," etc., to tie the theme together.

Week Two

I sent another letter discussing principles of tithing out of Malachi 3. I didn't want to preach on tithing--I thought it would be too heavy--so I explained it in a letter. I also included a whimsical Bible study sheet with many scriptures on "Principles of Giving" with multiple-choice answers and a self-scoring key at the end.

Week Three

All I mailed was a blue "reminder" post card. "Of course, this is entirely voluntary," I wrote. "That's what makes it fun," and signed each card personally.

Week Four

On Tithing Demonstration Sunday I was amazed to see our attendance at a high--50% above normal. We took the offering and announced the total at the close of the service: $1,525. Everybody clapped.

It worked! Not the size of that offering especially, but the instruction. Since then, offerings over all ave been up 65% (though we had a low month in October). Teaching tithing as an adventure and a discovery is lots more fun than a heavy, heavy sermon.

Teaching on tithing in Swahili and English is available on video.

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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