We worked with the team at Financial Peace University on this post. Stay tuned for the next two parts of a three-part series all about giving in the Church.
If you asked the attenders in your church if they wanted to be more generous, you’d probably see every hand shoot into the air. Most people have the desire to be generous, but there’s a gap between intentions and reality.
That gap can be caused by many things, including consumer debt, poor financial decisions, and living beyond their means. And it all adds up to a desire to give at church but a $0 balance at the end of the month.
The Reality of American Finances
- Approximately 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
- Americans with credit card debt carry an average balance of $16,425.
- Americans with student loan debt carry an average balance of $50,868.
- Approximately 69% of Americans would struggle to cover a $1,000 emergency.
It’s easy to see why people don’t give. It’s not always the case—sometimes there are spiritual or theological issues at play—but often, people who want to give simply can’t afford to give.
As pastors and church leaders, we must first acknowledge this reason people don’t give or tithe in order to help them understand the biblical approach to managing finances.
One Significant Shift
You may be thinking, “It’s hard to talk about giving in my church. It feels awkward, and so many people have a negative view of churches and money.” If that’s you, here’s one shift you can make in your mind (and heart!) that changes everything.
“Giving isn’t what we want FROM our attenders; it’s what we want FOR them.”
Truly, when we read scripture, we clearly see how important a generous spirit is to our God. The Bible has more than 1,300 scriptures related to money and possessions. If our role is to develop and lead others spiritually, we have to be willing to not only talk about giving but to help our attenders eliminate roadblocks to living a generous life.
Even when attenders understand that giving should be a healthy spiritual priority—that it’s something God wants for them—they can’t just invent extra money to give. That’s where learning good financial practices comes into play. It isn’t wrong to blend finances with church; it’s wrong to keep allowing people to be financially handcuffed when they could learn some simple new practices to get out of debt.
Giving is a spiritual act made possible by physical practices. Pairing those two things together, rather than siloing them, will help your attenders close that gap between intending to give and the reality of not having enough money.
Let Dave Answer Your Questions
Dave and his team would love to answer your questions about stewardship in the church so you feel empowered to help your congregation get a grip on debt and unleash a generous spirit.
Submit your question via this short form, and we’ll answer reader questions in part two of this blog series.
For more on helping your attenders be financially healthy, browse Financial Peace University’s free trainings and resources on Open Network.
FOMO is real, so don’t take chances.
Get the latest blog content delivered straight to your inbox.
Reach more people for Christ.
Find free resources, training, online community, and apps on the Life.Church Open Network.Start your free account