Let’s take a closer look at how God has designed tithing to be manifestly helpful to the bride and body of Christ.
People NEED the Gospel
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
The tithe provides for those whom God has set apart to be full-time ministers of the Gospel of God’s grace to wretched, needy, desperately dependent people (1 Cor. 9:13-14; Gal. 6:6; 1 Tim. 5:17-18). When we tithe we support the preaching of the Gospel, and preaching the Gospel advances the Kingdom of God!
People NEED to worship
In the book of Exodus, after miraculously delivering His people from almost ½ a millennia of slavery, God deliberately provides a litany of commands regarding the resources required for corporately worshiping the only true and living God (Exod. 25-31). We are not suggesting that the tithe is meant to manufacture and sustain Vatican opulence, however we must recognize the fact that God has commanded us to praise Him as a gathered assembly in a physical space, with musical instruments (Ps. 150), with Bibles (Acts 17:11), and with bread and wine (1 Cor. 11:23-26); all of which require material resources.
A healthy story of tithing is on tap for us in Exodus 36 where we see, Moses calling Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do work on the official large group gathering, and worship, space. And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more. (Exodus 36:2-7)
People NEED material provisions
God commands us to tithe, in part, in order to provide for the neediest, most vulnerable, and dependent members of the church – the orphans, the widows, and the oppressed poor (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-13; Acts 2:45; 4:34-35).
People NEED fellowship
We see in the Old Testament that the tithe provided for the sacred festival, which was a fellowship gathering involving an explicit reminder of the basis of our fellowship in the tangible act of eating the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock before the Lord your God and with rejoicing before the Lord your God in all that you undertake (Deut. 12:17-18).
We see in Acts 2:44-46 that the tithes and offerings of the church cultivated the community of Christ, enhancing and enriching the familial fellowship of the church.