When Church Giving Comes With Strings Attached
It is amazing to hear how church members view their tithes and offerings to their local churches. Though it’s cliché to say, the attitudes of their hearts reflect the nature of their contributions to the church.
I recently looked at hundreds of comments on this issue on this blog and on Church Answers. The attitudes in which church members gave were easily divided into two categories: church giving and church dues. In simplest term, church giving is an act where the member lets go of the funds with no reservations. He or she truly gives the money to God through the church. Church dues, though, have strings attached. They are not as much gifts as they are membership dues to receive certain rights and perks.
Look at each of these sets of eight characteristics. You will likely identify most of your givers versus dues payers in your church.
- Gifts are given with a heart of gratitude.
- The giver never speaks of the funds as “my money.”
- The giver has zero expectation of personal benefits from the church in exchange for the funds.
- The gifts are viewed by the giver as part of his or her walk of discipleship with Christ.
- The giver seeks no recognition, plaques, or naming privileges for the funds.
- The giver gives with joy.
- If the giver has any regrets about the funds, it is that he or she really wants to give more.
- The funds are “first fruits.” They are the first amounts taken out of paychecks and other sources of income.
- Funds are viewed as membership dues with entitlement benefits.
- The giver loves recognition for the funds donated.
- The donor withholds funds when something does not go his or her way. Indeed, the person will often attempt to persuade others to do the same.
- Money is almost always given with expectations. It is “my money.”
- Funds are often given from what is left over rather than first fruits.
- Donor sees money as a right to determine church spending without regard for the rest of the membership.
- These donors love to give designated funds since they have more control over “my money.”
- Giving to the church is a source of pride for the donor.
What would you add to these lists? Do you have more church giving or church dues?
This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on September 12. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer
- Planned Parenthood critic says disarray ‘not unexpected’
- Abu Dhabi recognizes 19 non-Muslim worship places
- The Bachelorette: Does Jesus Still Love You If You Have Sex Out of Wedlock?
- Despite death threats, Unplanned powers at the Canadian box office
- Joni Eareckson Tada announces she is free of cancer
My Five Communication Priorities If I Were a Pastor
Pastors have many responsibilities, but one of the most important priorities for church leaders should be communication. After all, “preaching the...
On the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the moon as evidence for God
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and I, like many of you, watched numerous documentaries celebrating this extraordinary...
What You Need to Know About the Southern Border Crisis
As Americans, we must stand on high moral ground. When we see wrong, we must expose it with the truth. When falsehood is spread, truth must be...
Want to Launch a Career? Today, It’s Up to You
In the past, many companies would hire novices and help them develop into more experienced employees. In those days, they put a great deal of...
It took 1000 coffees, but you've ﬁnished your book...
So where to now?
That's where we come in.
We have a team of publishing professionals ready to help you bring your book from your laptop to the world.
We offer cover design, typeset, eBook conversion, and competitive print prices. Oh and you'll also be on Amazon and thousands of websites worldwide.
Let us help you take the next step.LEARN MORE