Right now. Stop it. Because you’re probably not doing it anyway.

The average “tithe” in America is 2.5% of one’s income.

Don’t we know that tithe means ten percent? We must need pastors to teach us math because clearly we can’t figure this out on our own…

Except, many of us already know that it’s supposed to be ten percent. The reality is that we don’t care.

We care that our bills get paid and our families have a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. But we American Christians are far from minimalists.

No, we also care about our latest fashions (we have to dress like the pastor, right?), our (probably too many) Disney vacations, and wait… don’t forget the Starbucks.

Maybe if there’s something left over after we gorge ourselves on the temporary things of this world… we will give a percent of that.

So what kind of sermons do we really need to hear? What is the word of God that will break this selfishness?

Well it’s not a math equation I’ll tell you that. It isn’t “give 10% and the heavens will open.”

Our leaders have been asking for too little of us for far too long and now 10% has become 2.5%.

We’re not robbing God. You are… every time you tell us to follow some archaic rule that is only fulfilled properly in a Christlike generosity. A generosity that gives everything.

What we ought to be hearing is more sermons on selflessness and giving that hurts at least a little bit. But to effectively preach on a topic one must live it first.

So, Mr. Pastor, it might be time to donate your new jays to another pastor who wears expensive “gifts” and practice what you preach.

We don’t want to give you 10%. Because it looks like that’s where it’s going… to you.

If you’re honest with yourself, you might begin to see that you have set an example as a consumer who gives “generously” more than a generous giver who consumes modestly.

Remember when Jesus talked about the rich who gave the required amount and believed it was sufficient?

Don’t be that guy.

We’re just following in your footsteps. We don’t need math lessons. We need a resurgence of generous, humble pastors.

We need you to live and breathe generosity, not preach tithing and call it generosity.

So long as you’re doing the bare minimum (and maybe a little over sometimes so you can keep that humble facade), that is exactly what your people will do.

Toxic pastors have toxic churches.

Healthy pastors have healthy churches.

Selfish pastors have selfish churches…

And generous pastors get the privilege of seeing a move of God on the financial front.

But don’t take my word. “Test God” and see what happens, since you believe in that so much.

Your sister,

Monica