Using technology and a new process to facilitate tithing for previously traditional and smaller churches.
Tithing has always been an emotional and spiritual event, it’s an act of obedience and trust in God.
Context: In South Africa, we have been in lockdown because of COVID-19 since 26 March 2020. At the time of writing this article, that is about 5nmonths that the church hasn’t been able to meet in person.
For many churches, tithing is the main income stream in the church and in many churches this stream has dried up because of a lack of funds, but also because church members are used to bringing tithes to the ‘storehouse of the Lord’ where the pastor accepts the tithe on behalf of God and speaks a blessing out over the tither. This can be a deep-seated tradition and almost like a sacrament in some churches.
If a church is used to electronically gathering tithes and offerings, then this new way of gathering tithes in COVID-19 isn’t a problem. Unfortunately for many of the African or poorer churches, this is a massive obstacle to overcome.
There are 2 aspects to consider when we think of how to facilitate tithing in this season:
- the practical process of digital giving, and
- the spiritual experience of tithing that members are used to.
1. Facilitating tithing digitally
To overcome the first obstacle, we need to help our members know how to pay the church electronically. This means distributing the church banking details and helping members know how to add the church as a beneficiary and pay the church on their own banking app. It might be worthwhile to link to the different banks’ help files on how to add and pay a beneficiary.
You can also create an online payment platform like Snapscan or Zapper account for your church and distribute the QR code to your members.
2. Re-creating the spiritual experience
This means that we have to use digital means to create the spiritual ritual that people are used to. If members are used to a prayer be said before the basket is passed around, then the church could benefit from a video of the pastor praying over the tithes and tithers as he normally would in church.
This could also be a simple image with a verse and a prayer that a member can use to pray and focus on before they pay over their tithes electronically. For example:
Bringing together the spiritual and the practical…
Tithing and the movement of resources in God’s Kingdom have always been a practical and spiritual matter. We need to address the practical process, like we do above, but let’s also address the spiritual side. We need to pray for our members, our communities and the welfare of the cities we live in. Let’s pray for God to be glorified and for Him to build his church, tithing included.
Know that we are already praying for you and your church, for God to bring His Kingdom in and through you!