Tithes & Offerings

For many people, preachers asking for money conjures up negative feelings. It’s not surprising since there are so many preachers who have in the name of God taken money from sincere Christians and spent it on lavish homes and expensive cars for themselves.

Let me reassure you, that’s not how business is conducted at the North Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church. My salary comes out of the collective tithe of all the churches in the Allegheny East Conference. It is managed by the conference’s treasury department. We are audited on a yearly basis. They are also audited annually.

Every pastor is theoretically paid the same. There are some adjustments made by where the pastors live and minister. For example, the cost of living in Northern New Jersey is much higher than the cost of living in Dover, Delaware. So, the pastor is compensated for the difference in cost of living.

But I am not paid more because I have a larger church. The pastors of Mizpah, New Life, Germantown, Southwest and West are all paid the same. You could take my name off my paystub and put another Philadelphia colleague’s name on it and it he would not likely notice a difference.

Seventh-day Adventist pastors employed by the denomination earn modest salaries that are taken from the collective tithe of constituent churches in a given conference.

Having said that, if you look at a tithe envelope you will note that there are lines other than the tithe line. Those lines are of critical importance to the ministry of this local church.

I am not at liberty to redesign the offering envelope as we are a member church of the Allegheny East Conference. But I am able to educate you on the meaning and implications of where you designate money to go on that envelope. Those two big blocks up top that say, “Tithe 10%” and “World Budget 2-3%” are lines for monies that go away from 16th and Oxford Streets.

We believe that the everlasting gospel should be preached to every nation, tribe, tongue and people, so we do encourage ALL OF US to put money on those lines (Revelation 14:6).

HOWEVER, you need to know that every roll of toilet paper, every dispenser of handsoap, every bottle of cleaning supplies, every light bulb, every budgeted allotment for Sabbath dinners, every broom and dustpan, every penny for the wages of the church custodian and administrative assistant, every mortgage payment, every dime spent on security, every stamp, every box of letterhead, EVERY...EVERY...dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and red cent used to manage the local needs of North comes from the line “Local Church Budget” and below. Yes, that includes the funds used for youth ministries, music ministry and the like.

Our local church treasurer is not able to shift monies or utilize ANY funds that you place on the “Tithe 10%” line. Church policy dictates that we simply write the conference a check at the end of the month for the total tithe we collect throughout the month.

We have some great opportunities before us. There is currently no Seventh-day Adventist Christian school in the North Philadelphia community.

You hear me at every baby blessing challenge the parents to avail their children of a Christian education. If we are going to renovate the community center and run a Christian school whose academics are second to none, we need to significantly increase our local church budget.

Now is the time to prayerfully reconsider your financial commitment to this local church. If we can increase our local giving by $20,000 a month, we could turn dreams into realities.

Each of us needs to consider our support of the vision of this local church to make a powerful impact for God and for good in this community. Go ahead and take some time to talk with other members about what you have read today.

I have faith that we will soon see the things we have hoped for come to pass. It won’t be because of me -- it will be because each of you has put your treasure where your heart is. FYI: my heart is at the corner of 16th and Oxford Streets.

-- Contact Pastor Goodman at 215-235-1001 or goodmanthepreacher@yahoo.com


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