We encourage all members of the church to give of their substance, regularly, purposefully and generously. Knowing the church emerged from Old Testament tradition which emphasized the proportionate “tithe,” and freewill offerings above it, we encourage members to give proportionately, that is, a percentage of their income, using the Old Testament tithe as a good place to start. But as a church we do not practice storehouse tithing. We encourage givers to designate their gifts, that is, to consider what God wants them to give their offerings toward, with special emphasis on the examples found in the New Testament, such as ministers of the Gospel and special needs, and write these instructions down with their offering. Pastors and Evangelists (missionaries) from our church do not receive any salary from the church, nor any funds other than what is specifically designated to them by the original giver. Funds received that are not specifically designated are received into a “general fund” which pays for the necessities of the church building and other regular obligations. Offerings designated for inappropriate purposes will be returned to the giver when possible, or will be transferred to the general fund when attempts to return the funds are not successful. Our church does not sell anything, not even for cost, nor do we pass an offering plate. An offering box is located near the door to receive all offerings. Appropriate members of the church take turns as stewards entering the gifts into the accounting books into appropriate funds and making bank deposits. Records of the different funds maintained by the church are made available, usually posted above the offering box.
All of this is a lot of work, and it takes a lot of the financial power of the local church out of the control of the local leadership. But this gives control not just to the givers in the church, who know what they are giving to, and become personally invested in their gifts, but to the Holy Spirit, who through the church determines which ministries to increase, and which to decrease. This is the scriptural way, not only protecting the church from becoming a house of merchandise, but honoring to God and maintaining the focus on the gospel.