"A little research shows that passing the offering plate was not a regular practice until the 19th century"

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christian cerna's picture

Here is another interesting question that someone once asked. 

"Instead of giving money to the Church, can we give our services/time?"

If someone volunteers to help clean the church every week, or do some landscaping, or serve food after services, or maintain the church website, does that person still have to give money, or as much money? Isn't the church saving money by that person's free services?

DLCreed's picture

Our church has it covered.  We pass the plate, have boxes in the back, have an ACH giving link on our website and we explain on our website how to use auto-check/bill-pay.  That way, we're sure to offend EVERYone. :-O

Christian, we had a guy who would come to our church office quite frequently wanting to "volunteer".  We'd give him a variety of odd jobs that were nice to have done, though not essential.  One day, I saw him take a spiral bound pocket notebook out of his pocket and a small pencil and scroll some numbers and comments.  Because I knew him fairly well, I asked him what he was writing.  He told me he was making note of the tasks and how long he took to do them.  When I inquired further, he told me he deducted the time he worked from the church from his tithe.  I've always regretted not asking how much he "paid" himself per hour for his work for the Lord.  I bet it wasn't minimum wage.

Greg Linscott's picture

If you're only giving because you "have to," something needs to change (2 Corinthians 9:7). 

Based on that rationale, should pastors and their families give financially? I will say that we do, and always have- sometime in a box, and sometimes in a plate! Smile It might seem circular to some people's thinking, but I believe the privilege of returning a portion of what God gives us is as much afforded to us in ministry as it is anyone else...


Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Wayne Wilson's picture

Jim wrote:

For anyone who has studied queueing theory, multiple ushers passing multiple offering plates is more efficient than a single queue in line at a box. Think of the bank teller line.



Never studied queueing theory, but also in 23 years, I've never seen any line at the box! 

Joel Tetreau's picture


That was hilarious the part about the guy probably paying himself more than minimum wage! We've had the same thing here in Gilbert - we had a family years ago that explained they would volunteer for everything because that was their tithe. I tried to explain the Scriptures teaching about both serving and giving - not doing one in exchange for the other.

Straight Ahead!


Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;