We talk a lot about tithing here at The Fuller Center. Our partnership covenant, the document that binds us to our partner organizations around the world, speaks directly to the issue: “The Fuller Center is a global partnership. In recognition of and commitment to that global partnership, each Covenant Partner is asked to contribute at least 10 percent of its cash contributions to The Fuller Center’s international work.”
We see tithing as a demonstration of faith, an act of true charity, and an attitude of abundance. From a practical standpoint, the tithes on donations for a $60,000 house in the U.S. will build one or two houses overseas, where local resources are so much harder to come by.
More important than that, though, is the spiritual aspect of tithing. The Prophet Malachi makes a bold promise to the saints. He says that if we bring our tithes and offerings to the temple, the windows of heaven will be opened and blessings poured out upon us. This is a promise that no wise person could pass up — but it does require faith. We have to believe that the words of the prophet are true and have faith that the Lord will fulfill His promises.
It’s always nice, though, to have an actual demonstration of the principle at work. And we just got word of a great one. We had our annual Covenant Partner Conference here in Americus a couple of weeks back and, whenever we have a bunch of CPs together I find a way to talk about tithing. We put out a Greater Blessings box and invited the partners to bring in their tithes. One did — Merle and Neil Brown from The Fuller Center for Housing in the New Jersey Pines put their tithe check in the offering box.
I got an email note from Merle last night. She wrote: "I thought you might like to hear an interesting “tithe” experience. We held a fundraiser this past weekend. We were frustrated in our efforts by issues at the facility for the event, an unexpected snowstorm, our advertising piece being missed by the newspaper and no heat in our venue. Suffice it to say we did not hold out much hope that our Art Sale would yield much activity. Well we built it and they came and we sold about a third of the art work for about $3,300. The rest will be auctioned off. There is no explanation but that it was a God Thing. We had great conversations with the buyers about our work and many people gave donations even if they didn’t make a purchase. Neil pointed out to me that NJ Pines made a January tithe at the Annual Meeting of $300 and then we made $3,000. Tithing works!”
There you go, straight from the source: Tithing works!