Pastors Robert Morris offers money-back guarantee if congregants tithe for a year and nothing happens
Willow Creek Community Church Senior Pastor David Dummitt has offered his congregants a money-back guarantee if they tithe 10% of their income for a year and nothing happens. He made the offer Sunday after guest preacher Pastor Robert Morris revealed he's been offering the same guarantee to his nearly 40,000-member Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, for 22 years without a claim.
Morris, who preached at Willow Creek on Sunday on “The Principle of First” as part of the suburban Chicago church’s sermon series “More Than Money,” was seeking to help boost falling revenues that the church has been experiencing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Roys Report.
“I don’t want to exaggerate, but I’m sure thousands and thousands of people, and I’m sure it’s multiplied, that have told me some way over the years through email, letters, whatever, ‘this changed my life,’” Morris noted in a YouTube Clip from his message on tithing the first 10% of one's income.
“When I started giving the first 10% to God it changed everything. And here’s what I’d like to do. I’d like to just challenge you. I’ve done this with our church. I’ve told our church on multiple occasions, I’ve said to them, if you’ll try it for one year, if you are not fully satisfied, at the end of that year, I’ll give you your money back. With 22 years in the church, no one’s ever asked for their money back,” he said before suggesting to Dummitt that he should also offer the money-back guarantee.
“You know what? I’m so confident, I’ll say it here. You tithe for one year, if you’re not fully satisfied, Dave will give you your money back,” he said with a chuckle.
In the YouTube clip posted by The Roys Report, Dummitt is then shown accepting the challenge.
“I’ll just go ahead and say yes. Just like the Lord said, test me in this. I think I’ll go ahead and be bold and say if you do this for the year and you are not fully satisfied, we’ll give the money back. I like that challenge,” he said.
The Christian Post reached out to Willow Creek about the challenge on Thursday and while Dummitt was not immediately available for an interview, Liz Schauer, Willow Creek’s marketing and communications director, noted in an email on Friday morning that: “Our team is still exploring the potential program.” The portion of Morris’ sermon about the money-back guarantee also appears to have been edited from the full sermon posted by Willow Creek Church.
A majority of Evangelicals say tithing is a biblical commandment, but a recent study shows that only an estimated 13% engage in the practice, and half give less than 1% of their income annually.
The study, "The Generosity Factor: Evangelicals and Giving," from Grey Matter Research and Infinity Concepts, a brand communication agency, shows that the average Evangelical gave $1,923 to the church and $622 to charity over the past 12 months, for a total of $2,545 in giving. At the median mark, however, Evangelicals only gave $340 to the church and $50 to charity, for a total of $390.
The study found that people who were more engaged with their church and faith tended to give more to their church, and vice versa.
The higher the household income of the Evangelical, the more they were also found to give. Among Evangelicals with a household income below $30,000 annually, the median total giving was found to be $300. This doubled to $600 when people earned $30,000 to $60,000. It more than doubled to $1,400 when the income was $60,000 to $100,000. At six figures, median giving registered at $2,200.