What do you do when you see that your parish is wasting the money that you tithed on things that don't effectively bring the gospel to those who need it? How can you ensure that ministries that you support get the necessary funds to stay alive? What if your parish is missing out on an opportunity to win more souls for Christ? The answers to these questions - and many others - can only be resolved by out-of-the-box tithing Catholics like you.
Photo by Kevin
Tithing Does Not Require a Collection Basket
Some parishes spend their money on ministries and other events that are just plain worthless. While it is always a good thing to support your parish, there are also hundreds of great Catholic organizations that are very effective in spreading the message of Christ. Here are just a few of them, that you might consider supporting:
Live Action - Live Action is a youth-led movement dedicated to advancing life rights and the truth that all men are created equal. They use new media and educational presentations to celebrate life and expose threats posed against the vulnerable and defenseless.
PhatMass - The “phat” in phatmass stands for “Preaching Holy Apostolic Truth”. Founded in the year 2000, they are an online community, infiltrator of social media, and Catholic hip-hop production entity.
Grassroots Films - The best Catholic film production company out there right now. Their new movie "The human Experience" is coming out soon and you can support them by donating to their cause or by hosting a pre-screening of their new film.
If your parish is spending it's money on frivolous things, inform them that you are tithing elsewhere, and why you are tithing elsewhere. That is the only way they will know how they might better prioritize and invest in more spiritually beneficial ventures.
Propose a Project
If you want to keep your money within the parish, offer to start a project that you feel will be effective. You will likely need to prepare a presentation on the cost and benefits of your project, but more than likely it will be accepted if it's good. Some of these projects don't need to be expensive (such as building a new website or starting a social network for the Church). Your time and sweat is just as valuable as your money. Sometimes all a parish needs is someone that is willing to share their talents in order to help them share the message of Christ.
Tithe to a Specific Ministry
If there is a particular apostolate that you feel is making a difference at your parish, why not get in touch with its director and tithe directly to them. There's nothing wrong with doing this, plus you'll know that your money is going directly to the program. If you feel like this is going behind the back of your pastor, ask him if it is okay before you do it. If you like a ministry's mission, support them because they need it!
Ask Your Pastor What He Needs
Lastly, there is always something needed at a parish - and you can help fulfill those needs. Ask your pastor about what his parish is lacking. You would be surprised at how quickly he will jump on the opportunity to use your skills. Let me give you an example of just how valuable you are to the Church: Let's say you are a web developer. A good developer can charge anywhere form $40 -$80 an hour depending on their experience and expertise. If you were to devote just 4 hours a month (One hour a week) helping out your parish, you have tithed anywhere between $160 - $320 worth of labor. Imagine if a lawyer or psychiatrist did the same; It would be a HUGE benefit to the Church! Now, do you sacrifice that much cash monthly? I doubt it (I know I don't).
Be creative and think out of the box. Your parish needs your experience, but they need to know about it first!
Have any other ideas on how to tithe better? Let me know in the comments!