The following is a guest post from Patricia from Smart Church Management. She has created an online course to help churches be more effective with their staff and she provides church consulting services to help churches fulfill their call by managing the resources God has given them – people, time and money.
Churches exist to develop people in the Christian faith and to spread the message of the Gospel. While the Word of God is free, often times spreading the good news is not and it takes money to do so. I cringe when I hear people (especially Christians) say things like, “they just want my money” or “look at the jewelry that ‘preacher’ is wearing”. These kinds of comments reflect a heart that needs some adjustment but also is a sign of someone who does not have a good understanding of one of the most basic biblical principles – which is giving. So why don’t all Christians support their church?
8 Reasons People Don’t Give to Their Local Church
1. Don’t Have a Home Church
We live in a consumer driven society and the church is no different than the restaurant or store down the street. People expect a good experience and when they don’t have one they will shop around until their needs are met. This has created a “church-hopping” culture that affects not only the person’s ability to become involved but it also affects the church donations that that person represents.
2. Don’t Understand the Concept of Giving
Giving is a very clear biblical principle and there are countless references to it in the bible. Many people don’t understand this basic principle because they have not had teaching on it and have some basic misperceptions.
3. Not Committed to the Mission/Vision of the Church
People want to know that what they support financially makes a difference. This places the burden on the church to articulate a defining mission and vision that church members can buy into and support. This requires the church to be constantly sharing its mission and demonstrating its impact in its community.
4. Bad Church Experience
There are some people who may have been givers in the past but had a bad church experience and just pulled back on their donations. This can be the result of an offense or from having strong opposition to the way church does things. Regardless, the bible is very clear about offenses and the fact that we are not to be led by offense but by love and forgiveness. After all church leadership is made up of people – and sometimes people disappoint us but that doesn’t change the call nor the responsibility we have to support the mission.
5. Don’t Agree with How Finances are Managed
Some people may be involved in a local church but don’t agree with how church finances are managed so they stop giving to demonstrate their disagreement. The reality is that supporting the church financially is returning to God what is His and church leadership is accountable to God for the management of those resources. Once the donation is made it is then between that church leadership and God. So whether someone agrees with how finances are managed or not, does not affect that person’s responsibility to sow it.
When people are in between jobs and in financial crisis it can be difficult for them to give to the church. For this reason, the current economy has had such an impact on churches all across America. It is important to have an emergency fund to carry people through financial setbacks but it can also help the church keep its doors open.
7. Support Other Ministries
There are a lot of great Christian organizations and some people choose to give to those nonprofits that are having a significant impact in the world. People tend to sow their money toward those organizations that are efficient and effective in fulfilling their mission. This puts a huge burden on the local church to demonstrate their ability to fulfill their mission by transparently showing how finances are efficiently managed and the results of their efforts.
8. Think Others Will Do It
Some people just figure that others will fill in the gap and don’t feel responsible for financial support. This kind of attitude, if embraced by the church at large, could be catastrophic and hinder the progress of Christianity.
Many churches have experienced financial hardship over the last few years and the economy has resulted in many churches cutting programs, merging with other churches, filing for bankruptcy and sadly some have been forced to close their doors. This is unfortunate because if more Christians stepped up to the plate and took personal responsibility for supporting the local church, many of these problems would not exist.
What do you think? Do you support your local church?