Here are a few opening statements that have become an integral part of how we talk about and view money as a church:

  1. God owns all things and has authority over all things including money.  It’s important for us to understand this as we go into the details.  
  2. It's also important to understand that scripture is both descriptive and prescriptive. This article is Freeway Church’s prescribed understanding of how scripture describes how one gives.
  3. Over our years in ministry we see this trend: money is the last thing people give and the first thing they take away.
  4. We want our church to view and use their money obediently, sacrificially, and generously.
  5. We ask our elders/pastors and leaders to give 10% as we want to model and create a culture of generosity.
  6. We are assuming that if you are part of a local church that you are giving first to your church (temple/storehouse) and pushing the vision/mission of your spiritual family, your local body, forward.


In the Old Testament, we see God’s people are to give a tenth of their first fruits under the Mosaic Covenant. We see from the beginning that God was calling his people to give obediently, sacrificially, and generously and this was required of all Israelites, priests, and Levites.

We have to acknowledge that when it comes to giving, the currency has changed, but the principle and people’s response to God hasn’t. Examples of this are Cain and Abel giving fruit/meat, sacrifices of animals/grain, bread in places of worship, basically anything that was brought in by the works of their hands or any resource was an opportunity to give a portion back to the Lord as an act of devotion.  In today’s culture currency is money.

God made it clear that a tenth was required under this covenant and no one questioned the amount, where to give, or if they gave at all. It was an expression of their obedience and worship of a holy God.

We see this was followed by the Israelites and priests until Jesus ushered in the New Covenant. Jesus makes it clear that He came to fulfill the law, not to abolish the law. This is important to understand in regards to giving.  Jesus’ coming has given us a new way to live out our faith and worship of God. This doesn’t mean that we stop doing everything the law requires, it means that there is grace to live it out in faith in Jesus rather than through works.

In the New Covenant, there is a new priesthood (1). Jesus’ death and resurrection open the curtain for all believers to be a royal priesthood, not only giving them access to God but the grace to live and worship as part of the priesthood. Like God provided for the priest he will also provide for us.  
This changes the way we live, the way we give, and the way we worship. If you are a follower of Jesus, you are grafted into the family of God as priests part of a New Covenant. This New Covenant began and is sustained through the obedience, sacrifice and generosity of Jesus who willingly shed his own blood to pay the price for our sins. One-fourth of Jesus’ teachings is on money, which would be like a pastor preaching on money once a month. He did this because he knew it would be something we would hold tightly.


In Romans, we see that we are not to be conformed to this world but to present every part of who we are as an act of worship to God (2). So as a priesthood we are to joyously present our lives, families, money, and dreams to God. Nothing is off the table. There is no doubt that we are to give money as an act of worship. What can be confusing is considering where to give our money and how much to give.


As the Church was birthed we see followers of Jesus being generous with one another and taking responsibility for those who had a need.  They sold lands and brought the proceeds to the leaders to be distributed. What’s important to see is that as the church is established, with elders and deacons, money is brought to the local church and is dispersed to meet local needs and on occasion different regions. There was a trust with the local leaders to distribute money because they were shepherding the flock and knew the needs of the people. This is what we see described in the Bible as a way to do things rather than us making a doctrinal mandate (description vs. prescription).

If you look at the thread of giving in Scripture it was always associated with the temple and priests in the Old Testament and to the local church in the New Testament with elders/pastors. We use the language that a tenth goes first to the local church (temple/storehouse/church) and any extra we encourage to be given to para church ministries, non-profits, or causes that are close to one’s heart. One example of this would be giving 10% of your paycheck to the church and additionally supporting children through a non-profit or ministry.


The New Testament lays out some places where the local church distributed the money.  
  1. Poor (Acts 2:43–47; 4:32–37; 11:27–30; Gal. 2:10; 1 Cor. 16:1–4; 2 Cor. 8:1–9:15)
  2. Those in need (in the local church and in our communities) (1 Tim. 6:17–19; 2 Cor. 8–9)
  3. Those who preached the Gospel (in the local church) (Matt. 10:10; Luke 10:7; 1 Cor. 9:6–14; 1 Tim. 5:17–18)
  4. Mission (through local church and other ministries or causes) (1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:7-15; Phil. 4:15-17)


Giving helps us grow and mature in our faith. Here are a few benefits of giving.
  1. Maturity in faith - helps us stay away from (stinginess, bitterness, hoarding).
  2. Contentment/satisfaction - it’s our opportunity to live out Romans 12.
  3. Our church needs it - our family, Freeway Church, is acting on your behalf to advance God’s Kingdom.
  4. We are on a mission - we want people to see people saved and our city impacted by the Gospel and that takes resources.
  5. Makes us more like Christ - Jesus gave everything to redeem us, out of response we want to be like him.
  6. There is a blessing when we are generous - God has designed that our generosity is connected to our abounding in every good work.
  7. Provides NOW God stories in your life - we want our faith to have action. God says to test him in this way and watch him open the windows of        heaven  (3).


In short, whatever obedience, sacrifice and generosity looks like for you. The word tithe is translated in Greek as the first tenth. What we see is a tenth or 10% is a starting point that was commanded in the Old Testament.  We are called to be generous so 10% is the starting point, but not the stopping point of living generously and sacrificially. As we mature in Christ our view of generosity will change just like any facet of our faith. We have to allow theology to dictate our generosity not experience. We know we all have struggles and bills to pay, but it seems like the scriptures don’t allow that to be an excuse to not give. The Bible calls followers of Jesus to be cheerful when they give and to determine in their hearts what to give and to not to give under compulsion (4). The percentage is not as important as the heart but we learn in Jeremiah 17:9 that our hearts play tricks on us and it’s not to be trusted but surrendered in obedience (5). We encourage our partners to give 10% when they ask how much they should give because it’s easy to point to in the Bible and what we see in Scripture is that no one can outgive God.  A common reason people don’t give is a lack of discipline in sticking with a budget, not a lack of money. While 10% is the floor we don’t believe it’s the ceiling.  Especially for those of us in the West, this will mean giving more than 10%.

The money we have been entrusted with gives us amazing opportunities to honor God, to worship him, and to share the Gospel. We encourage you to consider what would need to change in your heart to live obediently, sacrificially, and generously!


(1) 1 Peter 2:9 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
(2) Romans 12:1-2, 9-13 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
(3) Malachi 3:10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
(4) 2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(5) Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?