Ministry: International Journal for Pastors
ANZSRC / FoR Code
5004 Religious studies| 5005 Theology
Avondale Research Centre
Scripture, Spirituality and Society Research Centre
Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)
A study involving the analysis of tithe receipts and collection of survey data from Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States revealed the somewhat surprising result that in some countries there is a small negative correlation between the motive of tithing so as to receive a blessing from God and actual tithing practice. In other words, the more an individual agreed with statement such as, “I contribute tithe because God promises prosperity to those who tithe,” thereby expressing a desire to tithe because they would receive a blessing from God, the less likely they were to do so. On the other hand, there was a strong positive correlation between a desire to tithe because of gratitude for what God had done for them and an individual actually tithing. Survey data also revealed that those who do tithe report that, “God has blessed me because I tithe.” The article also contains stories of where God has miraculously preserved tithers from such disasters as a locust plague, but also one story where a faithful tither was not protected from hail when their non-tithing neighbours were. After a brief theological reflection on these stories, the article concludes that gratitude for God’s goodness is a better motivator to encourage tithing than the promise of a blessing to those who do tithe.
McIver, R. K. (2022). Two surprising things about tithing. Ministry: International Journal for Pastors, 94(8), 18-21. https://ministrymagazine.org/