When you see the beauty of what God has done for you in Christ, it changes how you see everything including and especially money. And it seems to me that while tithing is not required, it would make sense that grace-loving, Jesus-centered, forgiveness-receiving people would give well beyond the Old Testament minimum.
It was a message most people are turned off to. My pastor preached on tithing on Sunday, and he knew that money is never an easy topic. There are a lot of things he likes to talk about, Pastor Mark said, and money is not one of them.
But because he wanted us to listen and learn, he did something important right from the beginning. He told us his motivation.
“We don’t need your money,” he told us. “we are not talking about this because the budget or the new facility fund is struggling. . . . in fact, if you are here and you think I am just talking about money because I want you to give, let me tell you something. You can keep your money; I don’t want it.”
We were intrigued.
But when he gave us the numbers, told us how we were over budget so far for the year, how the new building fund had exceeded expectations, how more families in the church were giving, we knew we could trust him.
He had enchanted us.
According to Guy Kawasaki, in his book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, disclosing your interests (or in the case above, the lack thereof) is one of the important ways to get people to trust you, which is crucial if you want to enchant them.
But more than just trust, to truly enchant people – Kawasaki defines it as “delighting people with a product, service, organization, or idea” – you also have to have a great cause.
It was no wonder, then, that Pastor Mark continued to enchant us on Sunday morning when he not only got us to trust him, he also told us he thought tithing, a debt-based, obligatory system of giving, was the wrong model for a New Testament approach to giving.
The squirminess I often feel when hearing sermons about tithing instantly gave way to pure enchantment. I had never heard anyone say that before; I began to feel relief. Not because I want to give God less than 10 percent. But because I never understood tithing as a debt to God when He sent his Son to pay all our debts.
And that was the great news Pastor Mark was enchanting us with.
Surely not everyone was as enchanted as I was that the standard of giving may actually be more than a tithe, above the 10 percent. Perhaps that’s where the teachers of God’s word have to leave the true enchanting up to God.
Afterall, he’s the only one who can truly delight us.
This week, I am writing in community with other bloggers of from the High Calling network. We are discussing Guy Kawasaki’s book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. This week, we are covering chapters 3 and 4, “How to Achieve Trustworthiness” and “How to Prepare.”
In chapter 4, Kawasaki discusses the five aspects of truly enchanting ideas: deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, and elegant. He then invites readers to list examples of products or ideas they are enchanted by, sort of an Enchantment Hall of Fame, he says. He lists things like a 1965 Ford Mustang as his most enchanting car and Queen Latifah as his most enchanting actress. Here is my Enchantment Hall of Fame:
Car: Subaru Outback
City: San Antonio, Texas
Book: The Help
TV Host: Tom Bergeron
Singer: Alison Krauss
Band: Over the Rhine
Artist: Maurice Utrillo
What about you? What ideas or products or services enchant you? What are you offering others that you hope to enchant them with?