The Tithe Your Career movement invites Christian students of all majors to tithe their time and skill sets by investing two years after college working alongside long-term mission teams and projects globally. GoCorps provides connections to global vocationally based two-year placements and then coaches and equips students through the discovery, application, fundraising, training and launching process. GoCorps started the Tithe Your Career movement in 2009 and has helped hundreds use their degree and live on mission overseas as their first step after college.
Tithing Your Time
What is the best way to spend your first few years out of college? Is it diving into a job so you can begin climbing the social and wealth ladder? Is it backpacking through Europe, Asia or South America? Grad school?
These are all good options. But for many of you, there’s a different path to consider. It’s a new way of investing the first two years of your career based on the biblical concept of the tithe.
The Christian tithe is the practice of giving a portion of one’s income as an offering to God’s work, commonly through a local church or through another form of ministry. Literally, the word tithe means ‘tenth’ in Hebrew. For this reason, the biblical concept of tithe is commonly understood by Christians as the practice of giving a tenth of their income to God’s work.
Tithing your career extends the biblical concept of a tithe and applies it to a few other of the biggest blessings that God bestows upon us: our time, our education and our skill sets. Tithing your career looks at the time between graduation and starting your career as an opportunity to give the first fruits of the first twenty years of our lives directly to God by tithing your time and talents to his global work.
Tithing your career looks at the time between graduation and starting your career as an opportunity to give the first fruits of the first twenty years of our lives directly to God by tithing your time and talents to his global work.
When you think about it, the first twenty years of our lives are pretty inward and self-focused. And this is OK. Your first two decades are primarily a time for learning, nurture and growth. From ages 0-5 we learn to walk, talk, feed ourselves and how a family and the world works. Then, from kindergarten to college, there are hundreds of people who are employed full-time with the purpose of helping us be successful! These are your teachers, pastors, camp counselors, school administrators and professors.
After graduation, you’re at the most mobile part of your life: no kids, no mortgage and not in the middle of your career! More than ever before, you have freedom and flexibility to make decisions about how to do the right thing, establish your career, find your community and build your life.
Let’s run the numbers. If a tithe is a tenth, then what does tithing your career mean? Does that mean I’m giving a tenth of all the money in my bank account or of my expected earnings?
No, tithing your career doesn’t mean anything related to a calculation based on your money or expected earnings. Instead, tithing your career is a math calculation of your time. Simply put, as a college student or recent grad, God has blessed you with roughly 20 years of life and learning. So, a tithe of your age is two years. Here it is: 20 years X 10% = 2 years. Pretty simple.
Tithing your career means giving two years after college of your time and talent to join His global work.
Tithing your career means that you look at the first two years of your career as an opportunity to give of yourself and your time and talents directly and wholeheartedly to the Lord. It’s proactively finding a way to invest your education, your skill sets and your time to build God’s kingdom.
Tithing your career means that you look at the first two years of your career as an opportunity to give of yourself and your time and talents directly and wholeheartedly to the Lord.
Tithing your career is different than taking a gap year. A gap year is usually taken in order to learn more about oneself through experiential learning and as the term itself defines, is limited to a year of your life. It’s also different than an internship or training program. While these are good ways to gain experience and traction, each are much shorter in time frame, they don’t involve an immersive cross-cultural experience, and, importantly, there is not a direct missional mentorship and ministry focus.
Why Tithe My Career?
Tithing your career has many lifelong benefits. First, let’s consider your career. Instead of thinking of your career as a linear upward trajectory (aka ‘climbing the corporate ladder’), most career specialists agree that a better metaphor is that of a children’s playground. Children spend some time on the monkey bars, then the slide and the swings and then back to climb the monkey bars. In the same way, at the beginning of your career, it’s a good idea to get varied experiences that stretch you and give you a chance to develop different skill sets and exercise and gain a variety of perspectives and experiences.
Spiritually, the act of tithing your time, education and skill sets parallels the act of tithing of our money. It’s an opportunity for us to show where our trust and treasure lies. It’s an act of faith. It’s sacrifice. It’s an investment. It’s obedience. Each of these are God ordained ways of discipling and blessing his children, and each of these will bear spiritual fruit in your life for years to come. Tithing your career is a time for your faith to become global! You’ll get to meet and partner with the global church and your faith and perspective will be more like Christ.
The act of tithing your career parallels the act of tithing of our money. It’s an opportunity for us to show where our trust and treasure lies. It’s an act of faith. It’s sacrifice. It’s an investment. It’s obedience. Each of these are God ordained ways of discipling and blessing his children!
Relationally and socially, living in another culture will develop your cultural intelligence and agility, preparing you for the multicultural world that is our country today. Socially, by moving into a neighborhood and marketplace overseas, you will have story after story that comes from doing hard things and putting yourself into situations where you are not at the center and are out of your comfort zone. These are stories that you will tell at parties for a lifetime and cherish in future seasons of life!
Besides the fruit and impact that a two-year tithe brings to your development, growth and life trajectory, one of the best parts about choosing this path is the impact your two years will have on the lives of others. It takes time to make a difference, and two years is a significant investment toward making an impact on a social injustice, creating economic opportunity, sharing the Gospel and empowering the oppressed.
Tithers are able to see community and life transformation specifically because they are investing a long enough time, they are connected to a longer term team and project, and because they approach their two years humbly and holistically.
Downsides of Tithing Your Career
First and foremost, tithing your career is not easy. All of American culture around you is engineered for you to choose the most comfortable, expedient and financially beneficial path possible. Satan coaxes and entices us to follow the masses toward the path of least resistance and proximity to comfort. Tithing your career doesn’t just mean getting out of your comfort zone, it's more like you move into a whole new galaxy where the food you eat, the air you breathe and the language you use are all literally foreign to you.
Tithing your career means that you’ll have to miss weddings, birthdays and other special events with loved ones. It means that you'll be away from your friend group and your family. It means that you’ll have to jump right back into a classroom as you’ll spend a big part of your first year in language learning.
All told, tithing your career is not the path of comfort and ease. Instead, it’s a path that recognizes the best and most important things in life all require hard work and sacrifice. And that when done prayerfully for God’s global mission, it’s worth it.
How do You Tithe Your Career?
There are three key components to joining the Tithe Your Career movement. First, you need to find a placement that lets you use your degree and is meeting a felt need. Finding an overseas position where you can actually use your degree right out of college is a bit tricky because you don’t have a lot of experience on your resume. But that’s where GoCorps comes in… more on that below!
Second, the project that you are working on must be motivated and connected to God’s mission of bringing the gospel to every ethnicity on the planet. Joining a project or effort toward bringing and building God’s Kingdom on earth is what makes this a ‘tithe’ rather than simply a good service or growth opportunity.
Third, you need to make sure that you’ll be mentored, discipled and developed during your two years. The season of life of your early twenties is important because it’s trajectory setting and defining in many ways. These years are not unimportant or throw-away. The most important component that will ensure you grow and are developed in any job is the quality of the mentoring and amount of investment that your organization or manager makes in you.
GoCorps: The Tithe Your Career Experts
GoCorps started in 2009 with our only focus specifically on helping students and recent grads tithe their careers. That’s all we do. And we’re the only organization in the world with an exclusive focus on the tithe your career concept.
We’re the only organization in the world with an exclusive focus on the tithe your career concept.
GoCorps is a collective of multiple Christian mission organizations and global NGOs that represent more than 150 skill-set and vocational two-year placements that are designed for recent grads with little or no time spent overseas and/or experience in their field.
Each GoCorps two-year placement is hand selected with mentoring and quality team leadership as the top criteria. Each placement gives you the opportunity to use your degree or skill set. And each team is motivated and centered on giving you the opportunity to share your faith through relationship and service.
GoCorps placements are your landing spot for how you can tithe your career. But our real secret sauce is how we help you through the process of exploring, applying, preparing and getting on the plane.
In your senior year, the most common question you’re going to be asked is ‘So… what’s next for you?’
For too long, the concept of moving overseas and doing service seemed limited to only those with a long-term missionary calling or perhaps to the wealthy who could afford to take an extended time off to travel and volunteer.
Today, the Tithe Your Career movement offers Christians of all majors and backgrounds a clear path to invest the first two years of your career in global service, living missionally and being mentored as a global citizen and Christian.
The Tithe Your Career movement offers Christians of all majors and backgrounds a clear path to invest the first two years of your career in global service, living missionally and being mentored as a global citizen and Christian.
Want to see if you’re eligible for a GoCorps placement? Take our 1 minute Eligibility Quiz.
Want to talk to someone about how you can tithe your career? Set up a time for an exploratory call with one of our placement coaches. These calls are fun and no pressure. You’ll learn about how the process of moving overseas actually works, and you’ll walk away with three handpicked placements that fit your training and interests that you can consider as options to talk about when you’re asked… ‘So, what’s next?’