We live in a time of great difficulty. Funding is sorely needed to feed those who come broken and hungry, to support our “First Love: The Battle Against Adultery and Divorce” ministry, to support our “Dinner-and-a-Bible” and “Spurgeon Drive-By” (see below)² ministries as well as our work at the Noble Correctional Facility, to sustain the recording and hardcopy publication of the Word of God and to place these materials into the hands of both believers and unbelievers, to cover the cost of our after-service fellowship, to pay for websites and licenses, etc.
The church’s work relies heavily on the tithe, yet so many think the church’s support is the responsibility of “someone else.” Many think to avoid the tithe by attending online or “television church,” as if the tithe is meant merely to pay for in-person, after-service coffee and donuts. Many would like to believe that the tithe no longer applies to today even though the mandate of the Old Testament clearly continues into the New (see The Tithe).
It is vital to remember that we do not tithe or offer our gifts to “First Puritan” but that—in the command of both the Old Testament and the New Testament—we are called to give to Almighty God. While some may be uncomfortable tithing to a small and unassuming conventicle (albeit with a wonderful internet following and with an active street ministry), the command nevertheless stands.
Here, at First Puritan, we have made the conscious decision to remain a small face-to-face conventicle rather than to pursue growth into an impersonal mega-church with a large building and an equally large mortgage and with a worship band, big screens, entertainment programs, etc.; we’ve made the decision to remain a small and agile conventicle that can respond quickly to the needs of the unsaved in which your hands are involved and where every penny of your tithe or offering is used for the advancement of the Kingdom.
Whether you tithe or offer, please know that your gift will go directly to support the work of the Lord; neither the minister nor any of the church officers receive any salary or financial compensation and all expenses are reviewed for approval by the full Assembly at our gathering on the fourth Sunday of the month.
This is not a criticism of how it’s done in our sister congregations; it’s simply to say how it’s done “here.”
If we see the poor and the unsaved, we feed them “today”; we have no need of a committee meeting to decide how we should move forward.
Although it is our practice at First Puritan to refrain from “passing the plate” and from discussing tithes, gifts, and offerings at the worship service, all earthly things do come at a cost.
All are welcome to take advantage of what First Puritan has to offer; “giving” may not be possible for everyone and is not required; “tithing” is asked only of our Elders. But contributing “something” to the work would be very much appreciated. We understand that not all can give “all,” but God knows that all can give “some.”
And, although a receipt for the IRS is automatically generated at the online giving, neither the minister nor the church officers are able to identify those who gave. The “giving” is between you and God.
If you are new to God or to First Puritan, it is not assumed that today you can make the leap of faith and tithe the first 10% of your income. Begin with a small weekly donation and then, as you are led by the Holy Spirit and as you mature in your walk with Christ, increase your giving according to your faith.
God has promised that your blessing will exceed that which you give.
Do you want more from God? Give more to God and then watch what happens in your life. It’s a matter of faith in God’s promise.
¹ One of the first questions often asked by those considering the tithe is whether the tithe is to be 10% of the gross (total) income or 10% of the net (take-home) salary. Answer: In our opinion, after much discussion, “Net.”
Reason: If others over whom you have no control (the government, your employer, your insurance company) demand a portion of your “income” before giving you the balance for groceries—a portion that, if you were to die this evening, would not be available for such groceries—your “gross” income does not truly reflect the money given to you for discretionary disposal. Although much of what is deducted from your paycheck is for your benefit, most of those deductions are mandatory and are not truly “today’s” income.
For example, the government will deduct for Social Security, but you won’t actually receive that income until you retire (or die, in which case you won’t get it at all); your employer will deduct for medical insurance but, if you say healthy, that income becomes a loss.
² If you are not (yet) a tithing member of First Puritan or wish to give more than the minimum tithe required by God, please consider supporting our “Spurgeon Drive-By” ministry.
Although we are mindful of food expiration dates, to ensure food safety we do not open and separate food portions by hand and we limit items to those that can survive the Texas heat in the trunk of a Toyota.
Think “school lunchbox” while keeping in mind that we’re feeding “street people” who may not have access to a microwave or even a can opener. We’ll pack it up in a 2.5-gallon Ziplock bag and do the person-to-person delivery to the most unsavory parts of Fort Worth, but you can help by picking up a case of something at Costco or a couple of cans of something else at Albertsons when doing your weekly shopping.
2.5-gallon Hefty jumbo Ziplock bags
plastic spoons (only)
Gatorade (all types)
small-can or box-bag juice (orange, pineapple, cranberry, apple, grape, etc.)
canned soda, mini-size
canned (with pop-off lids) spam, tuna, chicken, chili, spaghetti-o’s, beans, etc.
canned (with pop-off lids) “ready-to-eat” (no-water-required) soup
canned Campbell’s (with pop-off lids) soup (which can be eaten “concentrated,” w/out water)
canned (with pop-off lids) fruits and vegetables
individual-size boxed or bagged dried cereal, chips, nuts, olives, raisins, pretzels, crackers, etc.
single-serving dips (caramel, peanut butter, ranch dressing)
No perishable items; no glass; no chocolate or candy that would melt or stick together.