Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between tithe and offering?
God is the ultimate provider for His children. He is the reason we have food and clothes, a job to provide those things, and essentially life every single day. Tithe is the first 10% of your income that is a recognition of everything God has given you. Tithe equality and simplicity requires the same proportion from rich or poor. Everything we have comes from God, and by following His command to return tithe we are acknowledging and thanking Him for what we have.
“And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD.” Leviticus 27:32
Freewill or love offerings are a reflection of how we feel we have been blessed. Showing God our appreciation for His love and goodness towards us by giving according to what we have been given. In the New Testament Christ gave a principle of true stewardship, that our offerings to God should be in proportion with how much we have been given.
“And they recieved from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of makeing the sanctuary. So they continued bringing him freewill offerings every morning.” Exodus 36:3
How is the money used?
The Seventh-day Adventist church uses tithe money just as it was used in the Old Testament. Tithe was used in the Old Testament to support the Levites as priests in the sanctuary so they could exclusively do the work of God. The Seventh-day Adventist church today uses tithe money to support pastors as well as worldwide outreach through missionary work. Tithe money is sent to the Conference office (governing body of the church) and it is distributed to pay salaries for Ministers so their time can be spent solely on doing the work of God. Our Pastors are paid the same regardless of the size of congregation they minister to. When tithe offerings go down, the work of God is hindered because we lose valuable assests that are working to seek out the lost.
Love offerings are used where they are specified to be used. Different ministries in the church are supported with these funds when they are kept local. For instance, when an offering is taken for our local church budget, the funds are used for building required bills (utilites etc), Sabbath schools, local evangelism, kids ministries, poor funds and many others. These offerings help God's church to function as a business and a ministry to the church members and local community. Offerings are also taken for other things, such as for the World Budget and Conference Ministries. It is important to know what the offering is allocated for each week so you know where any loose money is going to help. Loose money is what is collected in the offering plates and isn't allocated in the tithe envelopes.
How do I use a tithe envelope?
- Make sure to include your first and last name written legibly. All envelopes are entered into a computer program and in order to accurately record your giving your name is very important.
- Including your address is important so year end tax documents can reach you in a timely manner. This way you can get all the deductions you deserve!
- Mark your money. In order for a ministry to recieve the money that you have donated to it, the amounts should be recorded next to that line. Or use the blank line to donate to something that isn't already provided. Any money that isn't specified is placed into the ministry that the loose offering was taken up for that week.
- Write in the total amount of money placed in the envelope, double check that everything has been accounted for where you would like it to go.
- Place the envelope in the offering plate or hand it to a deacon if you missed it!