Should Churches Allow Online Tithing?

Should Churches Allow Online Tithing? November 25, 2010

We live in an online world where you can do just about everything on the Internet – including paying your tithe. The question is, should churches allow online tithing?

Before I attempt to outline both sides of the argument, I want to say that my wife and I utilize our church’s online tithing option. We pay our tithe with our credit card, which we pay each month (oftentimes every week). We do it because of the convenience of having all our expenditures in one place and anything that goes on our credit card gets paid off right away. Yes we get reward points for every dollar spent on the credit card – it is nice to have extra points from every expense, including tithe. Ok…before anyone starts pointing fingers…let me get back to online tithing.

Should a Church Offer Online Tithing?

Is having the option to tithe online wrong? It’s certainly up to each church board and pastor, but I don’t think that simply having the online option is wrong. We have the option to write a check, right? Is that wrong?

I’ve heard the following argument AGAINST online tithe:

  • “Bringing your tithe to church is symbolic. It’s a way to engage in corporate worship.”
  • “Online tithing isn’t the same because you don’t ‘feel’ it like you would if you tithed at church.”
  • “The church actually gets less because there are fees that come with online tithing – so you’re robbing God.”

I’ve also heard the following arguments FOR online tithe:

  • “It’s convenient for the worshipper to give online.”
  • “Homebound church members can tithe even when they can’t attend church.”
  • “Auto-tithe eliminates the ‘forgotten tithe’ since it’s automatically deducted from a debit or credit card.”

Now these arguments do not reflect my opinions – they’re just arguments for and against online tithing that I’ve heard. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter if you tithe online or in the pew – it’s the attitude you have in your heart. You can sit in a pew and tithe for the wrong reasons and the same is true online.

Here are my questions for you:

Does online tithing take away from a person’s giving experience? Or are you a legalistic traditionalist if you don’t offer online tithe? I would love to hear your opinions about churches offering the option to tithe online.

Be sure to stop by on Monday for our take on using credit cards to tithe. Subscribe to Faith and Finance via email or RSS and you won’t miss another interesting article!

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