Completing the transition to the Arkansas Tithe Initiative
A process designed to more closely align our churches’ connectional giving to the biblical model of a tithe—10 percent—is nearly complete.
The Arkansas Tithe Initiative, approved by the 2015 Annual Conference, preserves 90 percent of local church offerings for use within the congregation’s mission field.
Beginning in January, every church will use the same calculation to determine connectional giving, doing away with the previous apportionment formula. Now, our shared ministries will be funded by an equal proportion of giving from each congregation.
Last fall, churches began reporting monthly income as a way to prepare for the transition to tithe-based connectional giving. This summer, the members of the Annual Conference finalized the rules for reporting local church income and exclusions, and set the budget for 2017 based on the data gathered from the income reporting.
The transition to the Arkansas Tithe Initiative will be complete in January 2017, when local churches will report their income in preparation for their first monthly tithe, which is due Feb. 10, 2017. Tithes will be due by the 10th day of each month thereafter. Every tithe payment will be based on a local church’s income during the previous month.
This biblically-based formula ties the conference budget directly to the financial health of local churches, enhancing sustainability. By basing connectional giving on the total revenue available to a congregation, this new system avoids penalizing congregations for decisions on how they will carry out ministry in their unique ministry context, giving them more flexibility to follow Jesus’ call to make disciples, and creating more opportunities to transform lives, communities and the world.
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