God has designed us, not to be hoarders, but conduits through which His generosity flows.
And this generosity should be evident by the way we give to our local church. Unfortunately, churches often experience a reduction in giving. Their members and attendees withhold or reduce their giving.
Why does this happen?
Here are a few reasons to consider:
- Conflict in the church. Disagreements, sometimes very bitter disagreements, can arise in churches. When conflict arises, members often turn inward, considering themselves before others and the church’s mission. And they withhold their giving as a form of retaliation or leverage.
- Failure to preach/teach stewardship. I understand why many pastors avoid the topic of money. They fear being placed in the same category as the few pastors who have abused the pulpit for financial gain. They fear the mistrust of their congregation. But those churches that excel in giving regularly hear a biblical perspective on generosity from the pulpit.
- Unclear mission and purpose. People give to a clear mission. People give when they feel like their money will be a part of real life change. When the mission is vague, or even absent, the desire to give wanes.
- Declining trust in leadership. There is a relationship between a church’s generosity and the church’s leadership. When trust is high, increased generosity tends to follow. When trust is low, generosity suffers.
- Lack of transparency in finances. Church members like to know that the money they give is handled with great care. A lack of financial transparency causes many members to cap or reduce their local church giving.
If your church is experiencing a reduction in giving, consider whether it is one of these reasons. The good news is that these reasons are reversible. And while such a reversal is not always easy, it is worth it. It is worth it for the church, and, more importantly, it is worth if for the members’ hearts.
Because giving is never just about giving.