God has entrusted us with many valuable treasures. He has entrusted us with His Word, His Gospel, (1 Thessalonians 2: 4) and with precious time (Ephesians 5: 15-16). He has also entrusted us with money. Stewardship is managing something that someone else has given you.
The Scriptures teach us that we will give an account for everything we have done. That includes what we have done with His Gospel, how we have spent our time, and how we have spent or given our (His) money.
Tithe meant 10% of our gross income. For the Jews in the Old Testament there were different kinds of tithes and offerings so that overall a practicing Jew would end up giving more than 10%. Jesus teaching on giving was much more radical than that. He called us to be willing to give up anything He would ask of us. The Church Father’s perspective on the New Testament teaching on giving was that tithing was not mentioned very often, not because it was too much, but because it was too little in the light of Jesus call to generosity and obedience. They felt it was the bare minimum that you would want to give. 10% is a good place to start in obeying God’s call to tithe and give offerings. But we believe it certainly doesn’t end there.
The most important scripture on tithing is found in Malachi 3: 8-12:
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.
This is the only place in Scripture where God asks His people to test Him.
Westside Foursquare Church gives away on an annual basis usually around 20% of our operating expenses to Global Missions, outreach, evangelism, church planting, and benevolence.
In the past 15 years Westside has given over $175,000 to the Caleb Good News Ministry www.calebgoodnews.org which is our all-volunteer ministry that reaches out to Romania, Africa, the Philippines, India, Australia, and the Navajo and Yakima Reservations. We have helped start about 50 churches in Romania through this ministry and have sent over 125 forty foot cargo containers to serve orphanages, gypsy villages and other areas in need.
In that same time period Westside has also given over $51,000 to Foursquare Missions fmi.foursquare.org and over $212,000 as a tithe to Foursquare www.foursquare.org to plant new churches here in America and in other countries.
With the generous response in gifts, we can truly say that God has been faithful to his promise.
If you regularly support Westside financially, thank you for your faithfulness and sacrifice. If you consider Westside your home church and have not yet been able or led to regularly support us financially, I trust that you will prayerfully consider doing so.