Dave Says: It’s really about giving and putting others first

Dear Dave,

My wife and I have always attended church, and we have always tithed. Over the last few months, we have come to the decision it is time for us to find a place to worship that is a little more involved in the community. If we are actively looking for a new church, should we continue to tithe to our current church? Would giving our tithe money to a charity be better? We both agree it feels strange to continue giving to our current church when we would rather be somewhere else.


Dear Brad,

There’s nothing wrong with continuing to tithe to your current place of worship until you find a new church home. It would probably be alright, too, if you gave your tithe to one of the places you visit while you’re looking. When it comes right down to it, it’s all about learning to be a giver and putting others first.

I can tell you two are taking this situation very seriously. But I mean, it’s not like He needs the money, you know? Tithing isn’t about making a deposit into God’s bank account, or building up spiritual brownie points. It isn’t a salvation issue, either. It’s all about changing our hearts and our minds. It’s about being a little less selfish, and a little more Christ-like. I believe it makes God smile when we put other people’s needs ahead of our own wants.

There are some pretty strong indications in scripture that a tithe—which is a tenth of your income—should go to your local church. I have no problem with giving to responsible charitable organizations, too, but when it comes to tithing, I’m not sure a generic charity is the answer.

My wife and I have had times in our lives when we changed churches, and in the periods when we didn’t have a home church, we’d write out the checks just like normal, but leave the “pay to the order of” portion blank. This way, the money was already accounted for in our minds and in our checkbook. Then, when we found a place that really spoke to us, we’d complete the checks and give them to that church.

I hope this helps a little, Brad. God bless you two!

— Dave