“About 440 Christians joined NewSpring’s most recent challenge. Of the more than 7,000 participants over the past four years, fewer than 20—that’s a fraction of 1 percent—have asked for their money back.”
This month, hundreds of Christians at a South Carolina megachurch can request a refund on all the money they’ve given since March.
NewSpring Church, led by pastor Perry Noble, is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have offered 90-day tithing challenges.
Participants sign up with a commitment to give 10 percent of their income or more, and if “God doesn’t hold true to his promises of blessings” after three months, they can request their money back—no questions asked. It’s the church’s version of “satisfaction guaranteed.”
The challenge pulls inspiration from the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, which states:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it (Mal. 3:10).
“God literally says, ‘Test me out, see if I’m God,’” Noble preached. “You and I cannot out-give him.”
About 440 Christians joined NewSpring’s most recent challenge. Of the more than 7,000 participants over the past four years, fewer than 20—that’s a fraction of 1 percent—have asked for their money back.
“Tithing is about being obedient, putting God first in our finances and training our hearts to trust him at his word,” church spokeswoman Suzanne Swift told CT. “It’s one of the hardest next steps for many people to take, and the 90-day tithe challenge is one way we can help people with that step.”
Hundreds of congregations—including non-denominational, Southern Baptist, Lutheran (Missouri Synod), and United Methodist churches—have adopted this approach since Life.Church debuted the challenge in the late 1990s. Two years ago, Life.Church reported similar results as NewSpring; fewer than 1 percent of its thousands of participants have requested a refund.