Non-Denominational/Church employment tithe/attendance requirement
"Hello Pastor Don. I am dealing with an issue in my church that has me really unsettled. I attend a VERY large evangelical Baptist Church that runs a Pre-K childrens school program that is funded out of tuitions that are paid by the childrens parents. I will include a copy of the email below. I apologize that it is so long but the situation and my position will be clear after you read it. I would love to have input from a non-partisan Christian brother in this matter. I have been instructed by email from my Pastor to contact our head of education department to discuss it with him. Please see below;
My wife is Linda Dominy. She has been a teachers assistant in the WeeSchool program for the past ten years. She is a dedicated and caring person that absolutely loves the children that
have been placed in her care. Her dedication, work ethic, and concern for the spiritual growth and education of the children is exemplary.
There is a policy at the WeeSchool program that has disturbed me for quite some time. It is the policy that my wife's employer, at our church, is requiring that she attend FBCW 90 percent or
more of the time and to tithe as a condition of her employment. I have been silent about this before, but after she received the last email, which I will include at the bottom , I can be silent no longer. While I agree that a Christian should attend church and should tithe, I emphatically disagree that it should be done as a condition of employment.
In the implementation of this policy the husbands of these wives, who are biblically charged with being the spiritual leaders in their homes, are arbitrarily left out of the commitment as to how
often they are to attend church and how much she/they are to give. I know the wives should discuss this with their husbands before making this commitment, but I have a hard time believing
the church would try to supplant or usurp the husbands God ordained responsibility in this area.
" Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or UNDER COMPULSION , for God loves a cheerful giver." Tithing with the certain knowledge that your employer is
checking your compliance is the very definition of "under compulsion. " I also believe tithing is a personal matter between the believer and God. No business, Christian or otherwise, should
have a part in it. Just as some laws are unconstitutional, I believe this policy is unbiblical. When our giving is under compulsion, God is not honored and our opportunities for His blessings are
thwarted. Our giving has been literally "Seen of men" and our reward stops there. I use to enjoy writing that check on Sunday morning. Now It just seems as if I am giving to an organization.
The Sunday School attendance policy is very much the same as the requirement to tithe. I use to look forward to Sunday school with the anticipation of fellowship with believers and
learning the things of God. Now this has been tainted with the thought that someone is keeping a ledger of our Sunday School attendance in order to 1. Verify my wifes compliance to a policy, and 2,To secure her
job. It is not too far a stretch to say that we are being paid to attend church! This should not be!
In summation I would like to reiterate that a Christian aught to tithe and aught to faithfully attend church. However, I do not believe that it should be an enforceable requirement of any
business or institution. Please consider abolishing these policies of requiring the ladies, and in turn , their families, to tithe and attend church as a condition of employment. Also please consider
not allowing the staff at WeeSchool to have access to this personal and private information. The better standard would be to judge the ladies on their testimonies, their personal witness,
Godly character, and classroom ability. The truth is, you can tithe and attend perfectly and still fall short of what God desires. The Pharisees did. I am hoping to once again give generously and attend faithfully with a joyful heart of gratitude, free from the outward impositions of men.
I appreciate your attention in this matter and look forward to your response. Please refer to previously mentioned copy of email below.
I’ve gotten the report back concerning your Sunday school attendance from July thru December as well as tithe records for the year. The expected attendance rate is 90% so anyone who falls
under that and/or if there is a concern regarding tithing, I will get with you one on one to discuss it.
I found the report interesting but not surprising and thought I’d share the breakdown for Sunday school attendance.
Out of 52 people, 2 are members of another church (who were grandfathered in at the time of the membership change) and I’m unable to check their SS attendance. The other 50 are as
90% and above – 4
80% - 89% - 14
70% - 79% - 5
60% - 69% - 12
50% - 59% - 3
40% - 49% - 3
30% - 39% - 3
Under 30% - 6
I realize there is always room for error so know that up front. There’s also room for grace in regards to illness. I will start meeting with folks tomorrow and through next week.
Please know that if you have a low percentage, you will have between January and the end of April to bring it up to 90%.
Thank you for this very interesting question. I am very sorry for my late response. I hope to give you some perspective that you may not have considered.
1. Many churches have the philosophy that every ministry should be under the authority of the local church. So if there is a college, school, missionary board, or any other thing, it is not to be para church, but under the authority of the local church.
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18, AV)
Jesus did not promise to bless anything other than the church, so if you want a ministry to hold true to the word of God, it should be under the authority of the local church... even if there is tuition paid.
2. With that said, it is absolutely right to require that teachers (as leaders of a local church ministry) be held to certain Christian lifestyle standards. If it were my ministry, there would be many more requirements than just tithing and Sunday School attendance.
3. Understand that the Bible teaches that to not tithe is to bring a curse upon yourself and your finances. The new testament passage you quoted has nothing to do with tithing, but rather missionary giving. I would not want anyone who is bold enough to rob God and invite a curse anywhere near my children, and especially not as a paid representative of my church.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:8–11, AV)
4. Church attendance is also a big deal. Remember, as a teacher, you are a model of Christian behavior to children. How in the world can we expect our students to understand the importance of local church attendance if our teachers do not.
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24–25, AV)
I think the thing to remember is that the school is not just a place of employment but it is a ministry of the local church. If being employed by that local church and all of the commitments that come with that employment does not fit with the husbands leadership in the home, then the husband should direct his wife to seek different employment.
I hope that this helps you.
Again, I am very sorry for my late response.