Lose Your Job, Get Your Offering Back

March 12, 2009 by

Generous News has the story of one church who is making a guarantee: If you lose your job, we’ll give your offering back. It’s reminiscent of the Hyundai Assurance, if you’ve seen those commercials. They say, “Buy a car, lose your job, return your car for a full refund.”

Car buying and giving to your church are two totally different things, and there’s certainly an element of, “You gave that money to God, shouldn’t you be trusting he’ll take care of you?” But nonetheless, it’s a very interesting way for one church to show that it cares about the financial future of its members.

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

14 Responses to “Lose Your Job, Get Your Offering Back”

  • Lex
    March 12, 2009

    Something about that smells of hype.
    There’s a BIG element of trusting God in there? I understand churches caring for people and being relevant and all that. I’m down for that. But at some point – when it contradicts what the Church is supposed to be teaching people – maybe we need to come up with something else.
    How about if you lose your job we have a team ready to cook meals, or we’re teaming up with an organization like Feed the Children or Angel Food Network to provide cheap groceries … or something?
    Something that doesn’t inherently say, “Trust God … until it gets hard.”

  • Tim Morgan
    March 12, 2009

    This is just plain wrong. The church has no business giving the money back, because it’s a tithe/offering to God. Now, if the church were to care for that individual or family following the job loss, I suppose that is giving back in a way.
    This just creeps me out. And shows many of our churches have really perverted the whole idea of tithing.

  • Chad Wright
    March 12, 2009

    This strikes me as being pretty gimmicky and the church not really understanding what giving is all about.
    Does it really help the people in the long run spiritually if they know they can give to the church and get it back when hard times come?
    And how could you really ask the church for the money back? I’m all for the church getting people more involved in giving, but this just doesn’t seem to be it.

  • Matthew
    March 12, 2009

    Personally I think it’s a good idea. After all, tithing is not about money. God doesn’t need or want our money. So if we’ve done our part in showing God that we put him first in all of our life, what is done with the money beyond that point is not really the issue. So sure, if a member of the congregation falls into hard financial times, give him or her the tithe money back. Their heart is obviously in the right place and God would obviously want the rest of the church to be there to support him or her.

  • Tim Morgan
    March 12, 2009

    Matthew, I see where you’re coming from, but being a pragmatist, and possibly a bit shallow, I think it’s impossible (or at least rare) that someone would actually be putting God first and trusting him if in the back of their mind they knew it wasn’t for real.
    I think the church that came up with this idea is making it easier for people to give to the church, but in the process eliminating much of what makes it special.
    If I lose my job and they give me my money back, is that like stealing from God? I still owe him a tithe of what I earned.

  • Tim Morgan
    March 12, 2009

    So I actually went and read the article (duh, should have done that first), and it’s talking about contributions to a “stewardship campaign.” What is that?
    If it’s not in relation to tithe, but instead for something directly related to the church *building*, I might change my mind about this whole thing.

  • Lex
    March 12, 2009

    2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one gives as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
    I don’t think it matters if it’s a tithe or an offering. The Church should be teaching believers to be “cheerful givers” and to trust God. I think leadership of said church needs to take a step back and ask themselves if they’re manipulating people to give.
    The whole thing raises what should maybe be a bigger issue: Why is such a “guarantee” required? Shouldn’t church members KNOW that if something tragic happens, their local church – especially if they’re members – will be there to help them? Shouldn’t our local ministries already have support systems set up to help people that are struggling financially?

  • Aaron
    March 12, 2009

    Old news… a church in Indianapolis (Northview Christian Life Church) has done this for more than 18 years. Well, it is a bit different: they ask for a financial commitment from people and if they find that they are not doing well financially then they can request that they have their tithe back. The pastor says that they have only been asked 2 times in 18 years.
    This is all based on the promise in Scripture to test God on His faithfulness if we give our first fruits to Him.

  • Brice Bohrer
    March 13, 2009

    Problem is even if you lose your job you should continue tithing. Didn’t that one lady in the Bible give her last two cents. Could’ve sworn I read that somewhere.
    (heavy on the sarcasm…)

  • David Moore
    March 13, 2009

    All very good points. The act of giving money to the church, tithes and offerings, is viewed as a money issue from only a “worldly” point of view. It’s really a heart issue. So it doesn’t matter on the amount of current income or projected income, it’s the giving of “first fruits” daily, weekly, monthly, whatever.
    You shouldn’t have a heart to give just because you know you can get it back. That’s a financial decision. Giving should always be a heart decision.
    Agreed, the church should help it’s body in need as it sees fit. For one, it may mean getting back more than than contributed and for another much less or nothing.

  • Jay from West Palm Beach
    March 13, 2009

    this is wrong.. your giving back the peoples blessing… God says to test him with your tithe…its one of the only time in the Bible that he says “Test Me” it would be ok for the church to help the family out by giving money to them but to say we are giving you your Tithe back is not right

  • Rosemary
    March 16, 2009

    I agree with Aaron. Tithing is about giving 10% of what you have back to God.
    Arguably, if you lose your job, this means you now have 40 extra hours of free time, and you can give 10% of that in volunteer hours for one of the church ministries.
    Now there’s a thought…

  • I agree with most that this is not a good idea, even if it is a stewardship campaign. For one, the money should not be the churches to return. Sure, the church uses the money, but it’s God’s money.
    Second, it’s creating a message that, regardless of the motive, is way off. They are emphasizing the sympathy and understanding of the church but belittling the lessons and blessings of trust in God that come with giving.
    This kind of stuff gives church marketing a bad name

  • justin
    April 18, 2009

    (Heb 11:6 with out faith it is imposable to please God.) this type of thing removes faith from the equation. (Heb 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.)
    your faith is to be in God not the fact that we can request our money back. When we know we can just ask for our money back…we are not trusting/ there is no need for faith.

Leave a Reply