JEFFERSON CITY – With the economy still in uncertain waters and giving on a steady decline, a new emphasis hopes to give churches “traction” when it comes to teaching Godly stewardship and tithing.
“We do an emphasis each year, but Traction is specifically about tithing,” said Spencer Hutson, church strengthening team leader for the Missouri Baptist Convention. “It’s something a lot of churches are asking for help with. This is a tool a church can use to promote biblical tithing, but it’s more than that, it’s about living in sync with God. We get better traction in our life if we’re living in sync with God.”
“Traction: Living in Sync with God” is spread across four weeks of emphasis on Sundays, with aids to prep for the month several weeks before. It reminds church members of the biblical basis for tithing, such as that found in Malachi 3: “‘Bring the full 10 percent into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test me in this way,’ says the LORD of Hosts. ‘See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure… Then all the nations will consider you fortunate for you will be a delightful land,’ says the LORD of Hosts.”
Traction also provides an opportunity for pastors to call congregations to respond and give in faithfulness, return to blessedness and rejoice in obedience God.
“It’s important to put Him first,” Hutson said. “If we look at the average household income in a church’s community and figure out the number of households in a church, we can guess what a tithing congregation should look like. Some line up pretty good, and some are pitiful. I’ve read some things recently that suggest only two percent of Southern Baptists actually tithe.”
Free materials are available for download, or order at mobaptist.org/traction. The cost of materials is prepaid thanks to gifts through the Cooperative Program.