In this way you also will present an offering to the Lord from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the Lord's portion to Aaron the priest. Numbers 18:28
God told Moses to say these words to the Levites who were the religious leaders of the Israelites. He had just told them that the people would give them ten percent of their income. Now he was telling them that they, too, had to give ten percent of what the people gave them to Aaron the priest. Not only were the people expected to give a tithe offering to God, the Levites were also.
It is discouraging when leaders expect people to behave in a manner that they themselves will not behave. It is hard to respect leaders whose lives reflect the philosophy "do what I say but not what I do." God expected Israelite leaders to lead by example and to subscribe to their own teachings and that has not changed. And when leaders are poor examples of stewardship, when leaders are not generous with their giving and when leaders are disobedient to the commands that God issues, the standards of the movement are lowered and the blessings that come with obedience are aborted.
But many leaders are not fully aware of the requirements of leadership. Too many leaders are thrust into positions with inadequate training and sometime even with inappropriate motives. It is also true that many leaders are living above their means and drowning in debt that undermines their ability to financially support their own ministries.
This is not only true of clergy - but we are all leaders in some way or another. This means that each of us is responsible for managing God's blessings well enough to give at least ten percent back to the ministries that bless us. Until we learn to do that, we as leaders are not true leaders.
God, bless our leaders to be givers and not takers. Amen."