7 Reasons They Don’t Give to Church

offering plate

As pastors, it’s really important to know the make-up of our congregation, in particular WHY they may have trouble giving to our church.

Why people don’t give money to the church

1) Money makes people funny

People will give what they want to give and buy what they want to buy.  “It’s MY money!”  Try to enforce rules regarding THEIR money and a friend can quickly become an enemy.

As pastors, it’s important to make them feel good about giving.  This can be achieved with education, services and full disclosure.

2) Don’t understand the spiritual concept of giving

It’s really unfortunate that many people in the church have not been adequately taught on the subject of giving. Gone are the days where you can say, “Just give!”  We have got to educate them.

A business concept that, I believe, can be applied here is the W.I.I.F.M. principle – “What’s in it for me?”   We’ve got to show them the spiritual benefits of obedience.

If you are not comfortable in this area, consider getting a speaker who is GIFTED in the area of teaching on giving. At the very least, consider purchasing stewardship DVD’s or  reading articles to help you address this delicate subject.

Some ministers and or ministries that come to mind include: David Jeremiah, Tony Evans, Adam Hamilton, Stewardship Ministries and Crown Financial.

3) Knee deep in debt

Like the world, many Christians are up to their eyeballs in consumer debt from the over use of credit cards to buying homes and cars far beyond their budgets.

Many people, including pastors, are in this situation and are in need of some debt management training. It would be a great idea to seek out some resources in this area.  Why? Because inDEBT Christians DON’T Tithe!

Dave Ramsey’s,Total Money Makeover or Dumping Debt DVD’s is a great place to start in addressing this problem.

4) Can’t see where the money is going

People need to SEE something.  There needs to be evidence that funds are going somewhere.  It is important especially to the biblically illiterate member to SEE some tangible things happening with funds.  This is particularly true if pastors are frequently asking for money.

5) Don’t agree how money is spent

This is one sure way for obstinate members to keep monies in their pocket.  They may see some purchases as lavish and unnecessary.

As pastors, it is important to COMMUNICATE with your congregation, the VISION for the church. They NEED to see evidence of planning and NEED to be assured that the church is ALSO being a good steward.  Being up front and open with your church will assure that funds will continue to come in.

6) Volunteer instead of giving to the church

Although we celebrate all of our volunteers who selflessly donate their time and talent, we simply can’t pay tangible bills on time and talent.  Dollars in the form of  tithes and offering are MANDATORY to operate the church.

Volunteering is CRUCIAL in the life of any church, however; it should NOT be done INSTEAD of making financial contributions but in ADDITION to.

Pastors MUST communicate this message clearly.

7) No clue how much it costs to run a church

We tested this theory one Sunday morning and had people shout out how much they thought it cost to run our church per year.  Some  shouts were as little as $25,000 to as high as $150,000.  We then disclosed what it was: $600,000.  We witnessed jaws dropping in disbelief.

I am convinced that some people believe, like Jesus multiplying the two fish and five loaves of bread to feed the multitude,  that somehow we can turn their $2 a week contribution into $200.

They also think because we are a church that we are EXEMPT from any penalties,  the results of which could be quite embarrassing especially when the bank padlocks our doors for lack of payment or the electric company cuts off our lights, heat or air or the phone company shuts off our phones or Internet.

As pastors, it’s important to give the congregation a TRUE sense of the church’s financial obligations. Show them an itemized listing of ALL the church bills. List them in the bulletin or display them on the screen.

It’s not enough for you to just say it. They need to SEE how much the mortgage is, SEE how much it cost to keep the lights on, SEE how much it cost to heat and keep the church cool. Doing this will give them a better appreciation on how much it costs to run a church and hopefully give them an incentive to do their part in being consistent givers.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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9 thoughts on “7 Reasons They Don’t Give to Church

  1. Carla,

    Thank you so much for mentioning our ministry in your blog post above. I hope many of your followers will find our videos, books, small group studies all helpful in their teaching in the church.

    May the Lord bless the work of your hands!


    Jay Link, Chief Steward
    Stewardship Ministries

    • Thank you Jay for the shout out. I pray that God will direct people to get the help they need. My little bit in helping to advance the Kingdom.

      Thanks again also for the blessing!

      • Kent, I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s estsaeinl not just for you but everyone in ministry. This is about Christ and HIS church. It’s not ours. There are many more similarities in theology than differences in most denominational cases, yet it’s too easy to hide out in one’s own camp. What can God accomplish when a large body of Christ in a particular geographical area is unified, communicating, supporting, encouraging and teaming up with one another?!

      • Howdy there,I discover that your blog is quite edinatuocal and helpful and we were interested if there can be a possibility of getting More content like this on your website. If you willing to aid us out, we will be willing to compensate you , Erwin Seilhamer

  2. I would like to address # 3
    Knee Deep in DEPT!!
    Christians are up to their eye balls in debt.

    Is there some one in the congregation who understand dept elimination.
    Is there some one in the congregation who understand the acceleration dept principle.

    If so they could start a financial educational class.
    This would make a HUGE difference in the FINANCIAL WELL BEING, in the members lives.
    And it would generate more $$$$$$ for the church.

    And the person who is in charge of financial education— They have the financial insight to balance the church books.

    Something as important as this–

    To be truth after looking at each one of your valid observations from 1-7.

    It sounds like it is time to incorporate sound financial principles.

    If not this will be another interesting factual blog. That nothing has been done to correct
    the problem

    I know of a free workshop coming up that addresses this issue.

    Inspirational Teaching Topics relating to:
    Be A Giver; Chose to Save, LIVE FREE FROM DEPT

    Saturday 9, 2013
    10:00 am
    Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center
    1101 Smithville Street, Annapolis, Md

    For additional information please contact:
    Connie Morris – 410-757-7035; email: powisdom@verizon.net

    • And can the church say, AMEN? Points well taken. Pastors have got to come to terms with the needs of the church and even their own needs. It’s been my experience, we try to hide it as long as possible and unfortunately when it’s often too late it is then we we reach out for help. Don’t call someone when your house is engulfed in flames, but call for help when you first smell the smoke!

  3. This is why we have smoke detectors.
    You have sounded the alarm.

    Whats Next.

    M.T.M.—Ministry Takes Money

    Keep sounding the alarm