Farmers Devote Harvests to God
The Adventist church has a rather unique doctrine and practice with regards to biblical stewardship, compared to other Christian denominations. We recognize that God claims ten percent (10%) of our income as His own, and so we return His tithe to the “storehouse” (Malachi 3:10). The storehouse in the church today has been identified as the local conference, who receives God’s tithe as collected by the local churches. It distributes the tithe equitably, as local church pastors’ salaries, and passes ten percent on to the next level of the organization, the Union. The higher organizations use the tithe partially for their administrative costs, and to fund missions in their region that are not yet self-supporting, as well as education and evangelistic outreach.
After tithing, we, as church members, believe in giving a regular percentage of our income as an offering that supports the local church, it’s programs and mission outreach around the world. We call this kind of giving a “Promise.” Giving to those in need or to projects of our choosing, may take place in addition to the regular offerings. This is the way God has led us to fund the global mission of the church.
People around the world receive material blessings from God in different ways. Some receive monetary wages or salaries. Some are farmers and produce crops, or herd livestock. They, therefore, tithe and give offerings “in kind.” In this way, all are able to put God first in their lives.
In the Pulpera-Velille Seventh-day Adventist Church of the South-Eastern Mission of Peru in the town of Cusco farmers hold a Festival of Giving at harvest time each year! Here, a group of farmers have brought a tithe of their harvest to church. Their motto is God first, in every aspect of their lives.