urlThe phone call came as we were just beginning a capital stewardship program in preparation for a major building project. The consultant had suggested that we ask people with testimonies of God’s blessing in their giving to share them with the congregation. Sally was calling to say, “Pastor, if you need a testimony about tithing, I have one.” My interest was piqued, and I asked for the details.

“We were driving home from church one Sunday morning after you made the ‘money-back guarantee’ about tithing. My husband Sam raised an eyebrow and said, ‘Money-back guarantee-huh? Maybe we should try that.'”

What I had said was that, if you have not been tithing (giving a tenth of your income to the Lord’s work), and you begin to do so, you can trust God to provide for your needs. But if you are worse off financially in six months than you are today, we will refund your money.

The first time I had announced this, the treasurer got a bit nervous. But the truth was, God had been faithful. Over the years, we had never needed to give anyone a refunda, although one man was close. He told me, “Pastor, I was two weeks from coming back for the refund, but then God gave me a new job.” In fact, it was the best job he had ever had, and 14 years later, he was still working that job.

Sally continued, “You need to understand that my husband has been a stingy man. He’s been stingy with his time, with his affection, and certainly with his money. In fact, there were times when I was hoping to find some generosity, but it just didn’t seem to exist in his heart.

So when he made that comment in the car, I was quick to respond because I have always wanted to give to the Lord, and this was quite possibly my opportunity. Well, Pastor, we began tithing. The incredible benefits to our family have been that my husband has become generous in his affection, generous with his time, and generous with his money. It wasn’t just a matter of starting to tithe to bless the work of the Lord, but it brought a change in our home and in my husband’s heart. If I can share that with anybody, I’d be glad.”

You can be sure that I signed Sally up to share her testimony. I would suspect that every pastor and every church treasurer has said more than once, “If only all of our members would tithe, we’d have no financial problems.” I believe tithing is God’s plan to support his work, but the reality is in most congregations, only a limited number of people actually do it. The 80/20 rule is often the reality: 20 percent of the people give 80 percent of the finances. Why is this?

Perhaps one of the reasons is that, as pastors and leaders, we ourselves are not fully convinced that tithing is a current biblical principle. We acknowledge its Old Testament roots but are not as sure that it applies today. While some would say we are not under law, but under grace, Jesus was very clear in Luke 11:42 when he said, “But woe to you, Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (NKJV).

The New Testament does not negate the principle of tithing, which existed long before Moses. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, who was a type of Christ; and it became a principle that goes through the Scripture. God challenges his people to “‘bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:10 NKJV).

Just last week, we were able to share a testimony of a young, single woman who had been out of work for about five months. She had been doing some odd jobs, which really didn’t provide adequately, but she could not find a permanent job. Two weeks before, on a Sunday morning, she came to me after service with an envelope that contained twenty dollars. Through tears she said, “Pastor, this represents my tithe. If I give it, I’ll have eight dollars to my name. What should I do?”

The hardest thing I have ever done was to pray with her and then allow her to give that which belonged to the Lord. I was tempted to manipulate the situation and give her some money. But it was a time to learn to depend on God. The good news is that, within a week, she had a job, and the Lord is beginning to turn things around for her financially. God is faithful to His word, but we need to trust Him.

If you have difficulty with the issue of tithing in your own personal life or in teaching it to your people, trust God to help you do it, and then challenge your people to “lay up treasures in heaven.” Some in your congregation may need just a little encouragement to begin enjoying blessing in their lives while they bless the kingdom. That’s what the “money-back guarantee” is all about.

John Sprecher is senior pastor at Rock Church, Rockford, Illinois.

One thought on “Money-Back Guarantee

  1. This kind of gives me the jitters and this is not because I
    feel God is unable to perform it though. Money-Back Guarantee, is it really
    ours to give? Can we offer a guarantee that everyone who attends our church
    service would be saved or anyone who attends our healing service would be
    healed? We most definitely cannot offer that type of guarantee as we know it is
    the exclusive reserve of God. Why then do we start giving guarantee on tithing?

    Firstly, this type of guarantee cannot be found anywhere in
    the bible. My guess is this is based on Malachi 3: 8 – 10 which does not even
    mention anything that closely resembles a money-back guarantee. And looking at
    these verses of scripture without looking at the entire book in context could
    lead to the very wrong conclusions.

    The setting of this book was during the time of Ezra and
    Nehemiah. The priests as well as the children of Israel had begun to disobey
    God’s commands and God used this book to correct their errant ways. They had
    begun to offer up diseased animals as sacrifice, default on their tithes and offerings
    as well as put away their Jewish wives in favour of younger heathen ones
    amongst other things.

    Malachi 3: 8 -10 was simply a reminder of the Deuteronomy
    28; the consequences of disobeying just one of God’s laws as well as the
    rewards for obeying all of them. The book of Malachi was not written to today’s

    You claim the tithe principle existed long before Moses in
    that it was practised by Abraham. Nowhere in scripture do we see any type of
    money-back guarantee attached to Abraham’s tithe. Scripture even records that
    Abraham was already very wealthy before he met Melchizedek and he tithed to
    Melchizedek voluntarily which does not make it any type of principle.

    The New Testament is very, very clear on the tithe; it
    mentions it as part of the law. When Jesus addressed the teachers of the law in
    Luke 11: 42 the law was still very much operational because Jesus had not yet
    gone to the cross. And He calls tithing the least important aspect of the law! Moreover,
    the bible clearly defines the tithe as the tenth part of agricultural produce. Nowhere
    in the bible do we see a command to tithe money. The only things the bible
    commands a tithe on are crops and livestock and this was not because money was
    not available. It was widely available; Abraham bought the land he buried Sarah
    in for money, Joseph was sold for money, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt with
    money to buy food. When the law was given, God allowed those who lived far from
    the place the tithes were to be eaten to convert their tithes into money and
    spend every single penny on anything they liked. The firstborn males had to
    redeem themselves with money and the list goes on.

    So I don’t think offering a money-back guarantee is
    scriptural, giving should be voluntary not coerced. God bless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.