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‘Ten Percent’ drives increase in giving at California church

Pastor Gregory Perkins led members of The View Church through "Ten Percent: A Call to Biblical Stewardship" early this year.

MENIFEE, Calif. (BP) – Pastor Gregory Perkins wanted his congregation at The View Church to remember God in the midst of the distractions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He found a solution in “Ten Percent: A Call to Biblical Stewardship,” a free resource from the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and authored by SBC EC President and CEO Ronnie Floyd.

The church that averages more than 700 in worship not only drew closer to God, Perkins said, but increased its financial giving by 12 percent for the first quarter of 2021 on an annual budget of $2.1 million.

“I wanted people to have an encounter with God. … COVID had caused people to kind of to forget who God is,” said Perkins, who used the resource the first six weeks of 2021. “They had become a bit relaxed in their pursuit of Him, so this was a really good reminder of who God is, and the added benefit is that it also increased revenue.”

Ten Percent offers topical exhortation, a collection of six sermons and companion small group studies designed for consecutive weekly application.

“It was just really, really, really helpful to us, not only the principles but the packaging,” Perkins said, “because as a pastor, [Ten Percent] gave me the sermons, … gave me the small groups materials, all the exegetical work was done. All I had to do was contextualize the illustrations.”

Perkins encourages others to consider using the resource.

“If your congregation needs help to understand the gift of giving through understanding the character of God, I recommend this strongly,” he said. “If you are in need of tools to help your congregation understand the benefit of giving, not as a legalistic exercise, but as a vehicle of God’s grace, this is the right study for you.”

On average, Americans gave 2.1 percent of their income to the church in 2017, a smaller share even than the 3.2 percent given during the Great Depression.

Ten Percent offers what Floyd has described as six “biblical, strategic and practical” principles useful in encouraging believers to draw closer to God and helping them examine and improve their stewardship.

“If every church used this six-week study and if most Christians would honor God with at least the first one-tenth of their entire income, it would accelerate the advancement of the Gospel to the entire world in a God-sized manner,” Floyd said upon Ten Percent’s release in 2019.

“As pastors call people to do this during the weekly offering, it is important for them to equate the vision of the Great Commission with the dollars the people are giving in a generous manner,” Floyd said. “Generosity follows the compelling vision to reach every person in every town, every city, every state, and every nation.”

The topics “God is the Owner of Everything” and “We Own Absolutely Nothing” open the series, followed by “Honor God With At Least the First Ten Percent,” “Bring the Full Ten Percent to the Church,” “Practice Over and Above Giving,” and “Focus On the Great Commission Always.”

To assist congregations and pastors to better use Ten Percent in the local church, the SBC EC created a free digital resource kit. A PDF copy of the book, promotional graphics, bulletin inserts, PowerPoint slides and social media graphics are included. Other resources in the book focus on the biblical authenticity of tithing and ways to improve the offering as a part of worship.

“The unique thing about this resource is that we have presented pastors and church leaders six sermons for their pulpit ministry and six lessons for small groups,” Floyd said in releasing the resource. “Therefore, they are able to bring the biblical principles to their people through the pulpit ministry and through their small groups or Sunday School classes. This call to biblical stewardship will resound clearly in a healthy and helpful manner.”