It would be nice if all our weekly attendees gave regularly to Church. But the statistics show that the average Christian is only giving around 2% of net income. Worse still, 30% of regular attendees give nothing at all. That’s right, nothing!
So, why are our members giving so little? Well here are some of the observations we’ve made as a ministry over the past few years:
1) Limited Vision
The truth is “money follows vision’. A compelling Vision that is simple to understand, bold enough to be energizing and that speaks to the heart’s of your members is critical. Mature Christians want to live generous lives and know that they can make a difference. If you show them the eternal impact that their giving can make then they will get behind you.
Solution: Give people a vision of the future and a roadmap to get there.
2) They are biblically illiterate
The Bible has a lot to say about money, wealth, and possessions. In fact, some scholars estimate there are more than 2300 verses that mention money. Furthermore, roughly 15% of Jesus preaching was on money, and 11 of the 39 parables he told had an economic issue as the illustration. The reason the Bible speaks so much about money is that it is the ultimate heart issue. Nothing can come between you and God as easily, and often as subtly as money.
Solution: Teach regularly the concept of stewardship particularly in relation to finances.
3) They are drowning in Debt
Most western countries now have reached unprecedented levels of household debt. Be it a mortgage, car loan, student loan or credit card, so many of our members are enslaved by debts that could have been avoided. In fact, the word mortgage is from the French, Mort = death, Gage = pledge, something they don’t tell you when you take out a home loan!!
Solution: Provide financial education classes for your members. You can even check out our stewardship courses.
4) They’re not sufficiently engaged
Just coming to Church each week doesn’t mean they’re engaged. To be engaged they need to be volunteering, be part of a small group, leading or have built good relationships with other members. There is a clear correlation between giving and engagement. The more engaged a member is, the more the Church means to them, the more they will get behind it.
Solution: Create an ‘assimilation’ system. Take your attendees from being simply visitors to fully committed participants.
5. They don’t trust you
The truth is people give to both people they know and people they trust. Can your members give confidently knowing that the money will be used for the stated purpose. More so, will the giving make any difference. People no longer give to Church because they feel they have to, they give because they want to know that their giving will have an impact.
Solution: Be transparent, demonstrate how the money will be used and why it is likely to lead to transformed lives.
Turn on your TV at night and you are bound to soon be drawn into the fear the media promotes. There is much fear with finances. When Christians give they can often withhold or reduce their giving due to fear. They start asking themselves “if I give this money, will I be able to pay the kid’s school fees, mortgage and other bills?”
Solution: Help people to build a truly personal relationship with a loving heavenly father. You can’t trust someone you don’t know. Help people build true intimacy with God, so they know he cares for them. The obvious starters are prayer and daily bible reading.
7. They’re Immature
Each of us is at a different stage of our Christian maturity. The challenge for Church leaders is to effectively disciple your members to become Christ-centered mature followers of Jesus. Don’t forget financial discipleship. Our giving is a litmus test of our spiritual maturity. In fact our bank statements are like theological documents as they tell us about what we really believe.
Solution: Consider your discipleship process, from someone who has just become a believer to someone who has been one for decades. Consider how you can inject financial discipleship into each stage of the process.
8. You don’t talk about it.
I’m sorry, but talking about money once a year or in passing in a number of your weekly talks is not going to cut it. You need to be talking about money regularly, with a simple but clear message of stewardship. You need to have financial stewardship resources available and make stewardship part of the culture of your Church. Contrary to popular belief, your members actually want to hear what the Bible says about money. They’re dealing with it every day and they want spiritual guidance in this important area of their lives.
Solution: Plan a stewardship series with a clear emphasis on the need to manage our finances. Consider using testimonials during your regular services of God’s provision and using the offering as a teaching opportunity.
There are of course other reasons our members don’t give, but those above are some of the most common ones we see.
If you’d like some help to improve your Church giving, then this month, we are offering a complimentary 30-minute Pastor Coaching session to discuss your Church finances and stewardship planning. To request a coaching session, just visit our Pastor Coaching page.
We look forward to serving you.