Read: 2 Corinthians 8:21 |
When you pay for a ticket to a football game or concert, do you ever wonder where the money is going? Although we may not know where the money is going, we are willing shell out the cash, because we value what we receive.
However it seems that for some believers not knowing not knowing how their church offering is being used can trip them up with concerns of impropriety. Unlike the money spent on a secular event, they can be caught in the twilight zone of caring where the money is going only when talking about the Church.
Let us examine the reasoning of believers who feel that because they do not know where the money is going they cannot be a cheerful giver. [2 Corinthians 9:7]
The reasoning behind this objection may sound different based on the size and location of your Church.
In church’s that are small and needy, you might hear….I have no idea how much money this Church rakes in with tithes and offerings. On top of that, I don’t know where all that money is all going! The bathrooms need upgrading, the parking lot has potholes, the sound system is spotty and the A/C needs repair. Where is the money going?
In suburban prosperous churches, you might hear…. We give a little to the church offering, but I don’t know how it is spent. Thus, I hold back some. Yet, I must admit while I stand in line at the church coffee bar and order my iced cinnamon Dolce Latte with white chocolate sprinkles – I do appreciate it. I also love the cushy couches, the high-tech lights, the thematic Children’s center and the uber-cool Teen wing. However they all seem costly, but very nice!
My issue, is that it seems like we spend more money on stuff for Church folk than we do for outreach to the non-Churched. Does our spending match the vision the Pastor talks about? I can’t give more without knowing where the money is going – period!
These types of questions arise in all Churches. The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:21 (NIV) gives great advice, “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.”
By practicing this principle and keeping the membership updated on the church’s vision for the year, the tone and tenor of questions are reduced.
It is also important to add some variety to discussing the church’s finances and our role as stewards. A blog article by the Rocket Company notes that by intermingling these approaches, members not only gain knowledge but also see a more complete picture of the impact of ministry in the lives of people and the church.
- Statistics. Offer statistics that answer common questions. This allows members to “know” where the money is going. Do they know the average giving totals per member year over year versus the expenses for ministry? What is the cost of a typical utilities bill? How many volunteer hours does it take to host a weekend service?
- Stories. For those that don’t relate to numbers, provide periodic human interest stories. For instance: Highlight a new member and share the connection to the outreach ministry. Share how a Bible Study group has changed someone’s life. Share how a child or teen was recently brought to Christ through the ministries of the church.
- Scripture. Teach and share what the Bible says about stewardship and finances. Those who are recently saved, may not know what the Bible says about generosity and giving. On the other hand, existing members may have grown up in a church that misinterpreted Biblical principles. Nothing cuts through walls like the Word of God.
It is not sacrilegious to say that you don’t know where the money is going. But that reason alone does not justify withholding or reducing our offering to the Church. Once the question has been asked and answered, a decision has to be made. Are you willing to follow Christ and give towards the work of the kingdom? Or do you choose to stay on the sideline cloaked in your self-righteous questions.
“But As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:16b
- I don’t believe the Tithe is Biblical for the New Testament Church
- I’m afraid to trust God with my offering
- I don’t know where the money is going
- I don’t agree with where the money is going
- I don’t trust the Preacher
- I think the Church is always begging for money
- I give elsewhere
- I give when I want to give
- I only have a little to give
- I don’t have anything to give
1. Discover –
A. Has not knowing where the money is going ever impacted your church offering?
B. Has seeing your church spending money on material things that you could never afford for yourself tempt you to reduce your giving?
2. Develop –
A. As you examine yourself, do you have a gap between what you “know” and what you do? How can you correct it?
B. When the Church budget is presented, review it to understand the mix between reaching the lost and serving those in the Church.
3. Demonstrate –
A. Collect and share stories and anecdotes with the church leaders with how the church has impacted you and your family.