Tis the Season Of Giving

For many of us, the season of giving often begins in our church collection plates.

Tithing is always a sensitive subject. But as Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford finds, a number of East Tennessee congregations seem to extend their generosity come Christmas time.

Decembe, a month of shopping, spending and tithing.

"We receive 2-3 times our monthly revenue in December over the other months of the year," said First Baptist Pastor Bill Sheill.

He says they're meeting their budget because more people tithe this month than ever.

"We rely on it. We couldn't do it without December."

Sheill says many give more to their church right now for a reason.

"Most of it has to do with plenty of self-employed people, the IRS. A lot of people wait until they see how the Dow is going to perform this year."

"By the time the year begins to wane and we see it in front of us, we start really catching up," said Church Street United Methodist Reverand Bill Fowler.

"While taxes and catching up are incentives to tithe this month, many are just in the giving holiday spirit. Christmas is the time of giving. Christmas is love, and we certainly want to love what's understood as the body of Christ, which is the church."

Church Street United Methodist Reverend Bill Fowler says tithing is the tradition of giving ten percent of whatever you earn to your church.

"This is what God uses to complete his work, regardless of church or congregation."

So where does all the money go?

"A good portion of the money we receive will go directly into local community ministries, missions," said Sheill.

"We look after the sick. We look after the lonely. That takes money. That takes time."

Fowler says when you tithe, you're blessed in return.

"Life itself becomes so joyful, you don't even miss the money."