Barter, Giving, and the Church
It’s not uncommon even in this 21st century for church members to donate assets to the church. These assets may include real estate, stock, jewelry and even personal property.
Churches will typically accept these non-cash donations and are then stuck with having to sell them for cash at a discount. Members tend to be motivated by tax considerations and often will put a high value on their asset. Churches are ill equipped to effectively manage and convert these assets into a useable form.
Traditionally, churches have accepted the payment of tithes in cash only and have treated donations of property as an offering. However, there is Biblical basis for in-kind contributions of both tithes and offerings.
Old Testament references speak of tithing (paying a tenth) as a percentage of the individual’s increase, which was paid in like kind. (Leviticus 27:30-32, Deuteronomy 14:22, 2 Chronicles 31:5-6, Nehemiah 13:12) The tithe was paid in the same form as the increase was received even though there are countless references as early as the book of Genesis to money. In today’s modern economy, most of us work for a cash wage and therefore it is fitting to pay the tithe on that cash income in cash. However, there are other forms of non-cash income that are considered increase to the recipient that may also be subject to tithing.
Offerings in the Bible were from existing assets, from the giver’s excess and were voluntary with no set amount. There are hundreds of references in the Bible to offerings of the very best of the flock and the best grain and wine from the harvest, all given voluntarily and all in like kind. Would it not be reasonable to conclude that offerings from excess cash should also be paid in cash and offerings from excess assets could be paid in a form other than cash?
Money was created to solve the problems that direct barter created. As civilization progressed, direct barter became more difficult as two willing parties had needs that exceeded the capabilities of the other and discrepancies in values resulted. Currencies worldwide have evolved to a medium of exchange that is now mostly traded virtually.
So, why barter now? Commercial barter today has evolved into an alternative electronic banking system with its own currency and is used to buy and sell excess capacity. Transactions in barter pick up where cash falls short. There are many wasted resources in the church and the wise use of barter could put them to use.
Equitrade International, Inc. is sensitive to the needs of churches and has developed a bartering system to generate incremental revenue for the church and its members. Members can market their skills to generate increased income, which form the basis for additional tithing. Members can also easily convert their idle assets into a barter currency and make offerings to the church’s own barter account, relieving the church of the headache of converting property donations into a useable form.
Bartering can often make the difference between survival and prosperity. Unused capacity cannot be recovered, as it is time and space sensitive. Equitrade offers the opportunity to bank the value of expiring capacity for future use.
Does your church have members that really want to give to special projects and support new mission opportunities but lack the cash resources to do so? Equitrade can show you how to turn their idle assets and unused time and skills into new revenue that can replace cash in your spending. Increased revenue for church members equals increased tithes and offerings for your church.
Your church benefits from incremental revenue, which can be used directly for the payment of a wide range of products and services to offset cash currently being spent. Examples include:
• Building maintenance
• Entertainment and lodging
• Travel for pastoral staff
• New equipment
• Activities and events
• Catering for functions
• Venues for retreats
• Resources for outreach programs
• Contractors for building projects
• Professional services
A working local barter economy also provides your church family with a backup plan for the possibility of an economic collapse as we approach harder times ahead. Equitrade enables your members to do trade and commerce with each other without the reliance on external banking. Your church can retain a large portion of its member’s resources internally without spending them externally.
Equitrade’s exclusive consumer barter website provides the network to implement a bartering program for your church family today. For more information please visit www.myequitrade.com and then call us at 678-951-9030 to schedule a meeting to discuss next steps.