At the end of each year I wonder whether I and my family’s giving for the year fully reflects the Bible’s teachings. It isn’t so much the question of how much to give that I puzzle over. While the New Testament doesn’t specify the amount we should give, it strongly suggests we should give at least as much as the ten percent tithe (before-tax, not after-tax, income) called for in the Old Testament.
More puzzling for me is which giving should count. Our principal giving should be to our church, of course. But should we think of giving to other Christian organizations—say a crisis pregnancy center or a Christian magazine or a soup kitchen-- as part of our giving or not? I tend to finesse this a little by directing a substantial majority of my giving to the church, while also giving to these other Christian organizations. It seems to me that the work they are doing is also a crucial part of the church’s mission, even if the particular organization is not directly involved in worship.