06 November, 2007

"Bring a Visitor - Reduce Your Tithe!"

ELMIRA, NY - At most churches, members have to put up with the pastor routinely asking for more money. As if that wasn't bad enough, he usually resorts to guilt tactics. "Remember that God loves a cheerful giver." "Remember the widow giving her last two mites." "Jesus himself said that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." "We really need money to build a new building for the youth."

Most people are just tired of all this. That is what inspired the new giving/church growth program at River's Edge Community Church (RECC). Pastor Wayne Erving explains, "Our folks were just tired of us asking for money all the time. They weren't giving, and we weren't growing in number either. Then the pastoral staff had a brainstorm. It was like a light bulb just came on for all of us at the same time. We told our people that if they would bring visitors, then they would get an automatic tithe discount. You wouldn't believe the response."

Member Phyllis Sams told TBNN, "I hadn't invited anyone new to church in a long time. It just never occurred to me. But now with the new program in place, I've brought five new people to River's Edge in the last three weeks. And by the way, the tithe discount program is awesome!"

The pastoral staff at RECC agreed to share the details of the new program with TBNN. The official title is "Bring a Visitor - Reduce Your Tithe!" This is how it works: every time a church member brings someone to church with them, they get an automatic four month discount in their tithe rate. For example, if Phyllis Sams (see above) brings one visitor to church, then her tithe rate drops 1/2 of a percentage point. This lasts four months. For a further breakdown, see below:

-A new visitor = 1/2 percentage point drop in tithe
-A repeat visitor = 1/2 percentage point drop
-A visitor who becomes a member = 1 full percentage point drop
-A visitor who becomes a member who tithes = 3 full percentage points drop
-A visitor who agrees to serve in the nursery = 1/2 percentage point drop
-A visitor who speaks in tongues = 2 full percentage points increase in tithe

Jimmy Reese, also a member of RECC, said, "Before this new program, I had never even mentioned to the other guys I work with that I go to church. Now I have invited them all. Seven have even come, and two joined the church. Right now my tithe percentage has dropped from 10 percent to 4.5 percent. We just got a few new employees down at the shop. I'm going to invite them tomorrow. My goal, all for the glory of the Lord, is to go all the way down to zero percent. The less I give, the more God is honored."

Pastor Erving gushed about the success of the program. "It is amazing. God is really blessing us. Our membership is climbing each week. In the last two months we have seen 66 people join the church. Each week we have at least 80-90 visitors. And because of all the new people, the giving has gone up, too. We are now operating in the black. It is wonderful - no more guilt, more members, and more money. What more could we ask for?"


Jeff said...

How would this program work for the rest of the American churches who have an average giving percentage of 1.5% ?

russkellyphd said...

This is totally hypocritical and unscriptural.

Tithing is also wrong.

If the preacher would teach Every Member Evangelism then there would be no need to teach either false doctrine. Soul-winning churches grow whether they teach tithing or not.

Darrin said...

They could also incorporate Tetzel's old fee schedule for the forgiveness of particular sins. People wouldn't like it at first, but it might bring in cash, and hey, as long as we're moving away from Reformed principles anyway:
Witchcraft - add 2% to tithe,
Polygamy - add 6%,
Murder - 8%,
Sacrilege - 9%, etc.

Brother Slawson said...

Darrin, is the schedule based on unlimited incidents, or is it additive? In other words, is each murder an additional 8% and each extra spouse an additional 6%? Or, unlimited murders for 8% extra tithe?

Darrin said...

Bro Slawson,
I was thinking a one-time gift on the week each transgression is committed or confessed, so hopefully this would bring repentance to avoid running into debt. We could also run like 2-for-1 deals, as in "Commit 1 sin at regular price; Commit another of equal or lesser value free!" This might keep folks from being overly sorrowful about their failures.

Team Tominthebox News Network said...

Russ Kelley PHD,

Sorry Russ, I don't trust anyone's opinion who is so self-conscious that he has to let everyone know what his degrees are in his blogger identity. Unless your name happens to be Russ Kelley Prichard Heinrich Diaspora, then you're entitled to put PHD after your blogger ID.


Harvey Schmidlapp said...

I just got a job digging post holes. Does that qualify me to add PHD to my name?


P.S. Schmidlapp is not my real name.

Brother Slawson said...


We, of course, all know that tithing is not THE rule. But, we know from Matt 23:23 that it is a bare minimum. Much like from Matt 5, we are reminded that we should not kill, but that is a bare minimum... we should go beyond and not hate our brothers. Further in Matt 6, we find out that we should not wave our Phds before men to be seen... or that ends up as our only reward. For this reason, I keep my PhD's in a secret closet.

russkellyphd said...

When I singed up with Earthlink I tried about 19 other combinations and they were all taken.

I am sorry that you are offended. Are you equally offended when James Kennedy added PHD to his name or when Billy Graham is called Doctor when his title is honorary? In six years you are the the first to make such a criticism.

I prefer you criticize what I write. Since becoming legally blind I earne3d my THNM and PHD. Red my material and tell me where it is wrong. Read the reviews of my book on Amazon.com and tell me it is unprofessional.

On the other comment, where does the Bible say that the tithe is the BARE MINIMUM? Although money was very common, the biblical tithe definition was always only money from farms and herds. Not everybody was required to tithe, especially the poor.

Most Christians could and should give more than 10%, but that does not give us authority to condemn the poor with a guilt complex if they cannos do so. Many churches today would not want the poor widow to even be a member if she needed financial assistance.

Russell Earl Kelly, Author of Should the Church Teach Tithing?

Team Tominthebox News Network said...

Dear Russ,

Do your imminent qualifications include the ability to detect when something is a joke or not? The PHD knock was just that. But I'll say this what concerns me even more deeply is your failure to realize that this whole site is humor. We've cleverly disguised our intentions at the top of the page with the words in red letters "Theological Satire" and a disclaimer on the front page. So my lack of confidence in you has nothing really to do with whether or not you put PHD after your name, but your ability to assess a situation and discern properly what is going on. Despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary you've responded to a post on this site thinking it was real. It hearkens to the Dan Rather fiasco with 48 Hours a couple of years ago.

We get your kind around here all the time. We post a funny story and suddenly someone with "Google Alert" shows up with their soapbox, totally oblivious to what this site is all about.

You've totally missed the point of this article and this entire site. It was neither a defense of nor a treatise on the issue of tithing. It was a satirical article about a church offering tithe discounts for people who bring friends.

Tom Slawson, B.M., M.M., M.A., СЩА, МУЖ

russkellyphd said...


Here's mud in my face. I feel like a fool. My poor vision missed the header. Y'all have fun and I will try to avoid making a bigger fool of myself here. We all need humor and I try toinsert a lot of it muyself. I even dress up like Elvis for fun. www.russrocksingeorgia.com

God bless.


G. F. McDowell said...

I thought the 2% un-discount for bringing a visitor who speaks in tongues was a nice touch.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Your post made me laugh. I linked to it from my blog:
Another Helping of Christianese, Please

Robin H said...

Russ, I really liked your last comment, and appreciate that you're willing to laugh with us and even let your hair down enough to dress up as Elvis, which strikes me as sure proof of not taking yourself too seriously. Just for that I would like to christen you with some new initials. From now on, you shall be russkellyokdaiek - "Russ Kelly, One Kool Dude and Inimitable Elvis Knockoff"

Robinka said...

And Thomas, labeling yourself США and МУЖ is the funniest thing I've seen all day. If we were taking ourselves seriously, I'd say that "US citizen" should not count, because it was not an "earned degree"... "Husband" definitely counts, because you do have to earn it. In any case, that was hilarious!

Jared said...

i've gotta admit, bring a visitor and pay less of a tithe is pretty ridiculous. What else is ridiculous is that it's only a half a percent. The next most ridiculous thing is that a visitor who speaks in tongues gets 2 percentage point off, but the visitor who has greater gift gets lower points off. What is wrong with these people?