The other day during church, someone leaned over to me and said, “Yikes, they’re buying that? I don’t think they’re using my tithe very wisely.”
I wanted to turn around and hug them. Seriously, I was feeling a front hug because that is such a perfect topic for Stuff Christians Like.
There’s a chance you’ve never felt this way. Maybe you’ve never seen something at church and thought, “Great, glad my hard earned tithe is funding that.” But if you haven’t ever thought that, here are some situations that often prompt “tither’s remorse.”
1. The pastor gets a car nicer than the one you have.
I wrote about this in the Stuff Christians Like book, which incidentally you should buy in triplicate. So I’ll keep this short, but if the pastor rolls up in a whip nicer than yours expect a little bit of tither’s remorse. (As a rule, the pastor’s car should never have rims shinier than the communion tray.)
2. Fun youth group mission trip.
I know Hawaii has non Christians. I know that somewhere in Maui, someone who needs to know about Christ is sinfully eating a macadamia nut while applying cocoa butter to their sun browned shoulders. And they need to be reached. And ministered to. Just not by our church’s youth group and not on my dime.
If you’re old school and already mourn the loss of hymns, you’re going to get extra grumpy when you hear that the church is investing in anything to do with lasers.
4. Mac products.
I want our church staff to have Dells. Old Dells that sound like lawnmowers when you turn them on and are the size of aircraft carriers. I want their laptops to still have wooden pieces and so help me if I see any sort of touch technology. If I ever go to church and see an iPad, it is on like Donkey Kong. I once saw my pastor Andy Stanley with a Kindle and was preparing a leg drop until he said a friend named Lanny Donoho gave it to him.
5. Flat screen televisions.
A friend once told me that he didn’t like megachurches because they had flat screen televisions every four feet. I assured him our church had them spaced at a much holier six feet. He didn’t see the tremendous humor in that, but sometimes people get wrapped up in weird specifics and want to clutch those tithe dollars when they see things like flat screen televisions. (Jesus clearly preferred tube televisions.)
Hopefully you’ve never felt this way, but if you have it’s OK. I’ve been there, and I’ll be there again if I ever catch my pastor sitting on dubs. Oh no I didn’t! Yes, I did!