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Malachi 3:10 says:
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do, says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!
We are a community that believes in the promises of Scripture, as well as the challenges we find in Scripture. Tithing is a biblical principle where we return 10% (or the firstfruits) of our gain (income) to God's storehouse. We do this as faithful Christians, who believe that God blesses our giving. It is not a magical equation, but rather a trust equation that we have in the promises of God found in the Bible. We suggest that you make giving a consistent act of response to what God has done in your life and the life of the church. The best way to consistently give is to set up a recurring giving system using your bank. In this way, you can maintain a budget that allows for the giving to be consistently given.
At Red Willow Community Church, there are two different ways to give: Locally and through the Conference Tithing program. These are not mutually exclusive. It makes sense to spend just a little time talking about the differences, benefits, and the challenges when it comes to giving, as well as the need Red Willow has. As well, we encourage giving to both of these programs as they both benefit the work of God at Red Willow Community Church.
Red Willow has an annual budget of a little over $200k a year (some of which is alleviated through our rentals, but only a small amount). This includes facilities, personnel, ministry, and infrastructure needs. All of this comes from the local giving of the Red Willow Community. We have been blessed with consistent givers through our history, and every dollar that comes in through local giving stays here to alleviate expenses, pay our people, and forward the work of ministry at Red Willow. We believe every penny given locally has a direct effect on local ministry, is sacrificial, and a gift of grace from our community.
Giving Conference Tithe
As part of the larger Seventh-day Adventist church, we also encourage people to give of their finances to the needs of the larger church. When you indicate "Tithe" on your donation, you are giving to the more global work of the SDA denomination. These gifts do not stay local, but a portion are returned to our congregation through the compensation that our pastor receives, as well as other benefits that would be cost prohibitive for a local congregation, such as human resources, retirement, and many more benefits. Tithe donations do not stay at the local church, but go to serve the worldwide church as well as benefit the local church through the items listed above.
Where Should You Give?
We believe that both of these ways of giving are valid expressions of gratitude for the gift of grace that God has given us through his Son Jesus Christ. Both are important, and both need to be supported. Giving is deeply personal and between you and God. If you have been blessed by the local ministry of Red Willow, we ask you to consider giving locally as well as setting aside a portion for the continued blessing of our worldwide church. Both of these areas are important. We encourage giving as a both/and response, not an either/or response to the blessing of God in our lives!