Do missionaries continue to tithe? If so, do they take that out of the money given by others to support their ministry?
Let me just say that there is a lot of controversy in many circles about anybody having to give a tithe. This post is not to argue that point really. God’s work is done by God’s people donating their money for that purpose to the local church doing that work of God. Having said that, the NT does not directly mention 10% although that is the precedent set in the OT. But God does indicate that “as God hath prospered you, you should accordingly give back to God. There is a spiritual obligation to honor God with your income and belongings as well as there is a biblical principle that God’s people are to support God’s work.
If we can take that for granted for a minute we would turn to missions and missionaries and their responsibility. Really missionaries should tithe. Here we would assume that the missionary is a Christian under the same obligations as any other Christian so he should tithe. Besides his obligations, God works on the rule of you first establish a history of example before preaching (God does’t allow hypocrisy in his ministers) therefore there are several very heavy reasons why a missionary should tithe.
Why should he not tithe? At first we can see no good reason to “not tithe”. I would grant to some missionaries in their individual set up, they have a ministry fund, and sometimes that is 30% to 50% of their living expenses, so donating that kind of money into the work they are starting, there would be a consideration for considering that as fulfilling a tithe and then some. Personally I don’t have a ministry fund, and I tithe of gross income. But even with my own situation, at times there are situations where you personally give a good size “chunk” of money to the church, purchasing or pay for something that is needed, or giving to people that you do not want the entire church to know about. But giving is definitely an essential for a missionary.
Where should the missionary give his tithe? Personally I feel like I am an example of Christ, and it makes me feel bad when the offering plate goes by me without me putting something in. So even when I visit other churches in the states on furlough, I still try to always put something in.
In principle, I want my tithes to go to the work that God has given me, my church on the mission field. There is nothing really wrong to give your tithes (at least in part) to your sending church back stateside (most pastors I deal with recommend that I not do that though).
I have a hard time with mission boards forceably taking a 10 or 15% tithe out of their missionaries income. Giving should never be under compulsion. I think that giving is a must, and there is a basic principle that people should basically be giving the majority of their money where they attend.