Tithing on barter

After bartering for a while it occurred to me that my trade profit was significant and that I really should be tithing at church on the profit that I’m earning on trade.  For a couple months I started tracking my trade profit and tithing cash for it.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that I hadn’t come up with a good solution.  I simply couldn’t afford to keep paying out cash tithes on barter profits.  I’ve spoken with a couple people and have come up with two potential solutions:

The easy solution is simply to set your church up with a barter exchange account and tithe in barter credits on the barter portion of your profit.  The problem I have with that solution though is that it puts the burden of managing the account and figuring out what to use it for on your church.  I don’t know about other churches, but the staff at my church already have plenty on their plate and really didn’t need another job added.

My solution is more work for me, but I think it’s the best way to go.  I contacted my Pastor, and let him know the situation.  I explained to him that I wanted to tithe on my barter profit, but I simply couldn’t do it in cash.  We agreed that we would both watch for things that the church needed that could be purchased on barter and that I would then take care of those needs based on records I was keeping with regard to what I needed to tithe in barter.  This way it doesn’t put any new work on church staff and at the same time, I don’t need to tithe cash on barter profits.

What I barter for

When I’m talking to a potential new barter partner about the possibility of joining a barter exchange, at some point or another they always ask the logical question: “What is available to purchase through the exchange?”   Unfortunately, I’m now buying so many things through barter that often I fumble at answering the question because my mind can’t quickly sort out that which I buy on barter from those things that I do not. To that end, I’d like to post here just a sample of items/services that I have personally bartered for just this month (the last 17 days).  Please note that this is not a complete list.  You should also note that this level of purchases is totally normal for me.

  • Regular martial arts class for all 3 of my kids
  • Dog grooming
  • Weekly book-keeping
  • Baked goods for employee gifts and person consumption (yum!)
  • Automobile smog test
  • A large number of clothes for my kids
  • House/office cleaning services
  • Weekly landscape maintenance
  • Pest control (sprayed for spiders around my house)
  • Low fat frozen meals (20)
  • Koolaid packets
  • Leather purse (gift for my daughter…. Don’t tell! <grin>)
  • Business lunch at a local restaurant
  • State map showing fishing locations (gift for hunting buddy)
  • Chiropractor
  • Massage therapy
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Programming services that I will charge a client in cash for
  • Regular basketball practice/coaching for my boys