The Steward Department of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church is launching a video series targeted at millennials. The series is part of a broader initiative entitled “GodFirst” which aims to help members understand the principles of tithe and offering. “The act of tithing develops allegiance, commitment, love, and relationship with God”, says Marcos Bomfim, Stewardship Department director, “If you put your treasure with God, your heart will also be there.”
A desire to reach out to members has led the Stewardship Department to create videos on tithing that bring members back to Christ. The department plans to release a new video at the end of each month until the end of the year. Stewardship leaders hope these videos will generate thought about tithe and offering and decision about what it means to do God’s will. Bomfim says, “Our affections will go after our resources. Where ever members spend their resources on, their hearts will be there also. These videos are to bring people to Christ not to bring money into the church. This is an act of worship and not a donation.”
A study conducted by Robert McIver, released in 2016, showed millennials in the Adventist church are decreasing the amount of tithes they are giving*. “They do not understand the principle behind tithes and offering. Tithing is not based on emotion, gratitude, or agreeing to what the church is doing,” said Bomfim. “Tithing is not related to the church, but to God. Giving ten percent or other percentage to someone in need is not tithing; beyond the right percentage, it must be delivered in the right place and used in the prescribed way, says the Bible.”
The Stewardship Department’s goal is not to bring money into the church, but to bring people to God’s kingdom. They feel tasked to help members recognize God as the redeemer and Creator as members hearts are placed in Him by tithing.
Bomfim explained that these videos were created to raise the discussion at youth meetings, camp meetings, and on social media through friends. The Stewardship Department is hoping viewers will share the videos and inform others about coming to Christ.
The “GodFirst” videos are available on the Stewardship Department website at stewardship.adventist.org and will be available in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. They can also be viewed on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GCStewardshipMinistries/and Twitter @dynamicstewards. Embedded in the videos are resources to help you understand tithe and offerings through open discussion and questions, and you may find them here.
“We are all broken, no one is perfect. We are here to seek the Lord and for Him to mend us together. We must see that when God blesses us, we are recognizing it by returning to Him” explained Bomfim.
* McIver, Robert K. (2016). Tithing Practices among Seventh-day Adventists: A Study of Tithe Demographics and Motives in Australia, Brazil, England, Kenya, and the United States. Australia and Silver Spring, MD: Avondale Academic Press and Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists.