Why Pastors Care about Your Financial Giving

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WHAT!?!?! I knew it!!!! “All pastors care about is how much money the church has!” CEdHSl5WgAA9qPO.jpg-largeMost of us have probably heard this indictment a time or two. Unfortunately there are ‘ministers’ out there who seem to care more about the quantity of your financial giving than the quality of your heart. TBN seems to give time and space to men and women who advertise the more you give, the more God blesses you. But this post is not about false teachers. This post is about why faithful, men of God, trustworthy, honorable, and called to shepherd your soul care about your tithing — to be referenced as giving from this point on.

Giving is an act of worship. It should be prepared for, expected, and done regularly. Small change is still better than nothing. Yet sacrificial is also expected. When we walk into Sunday morning with our Bibles and paper for the sermon, we prepare rightfully. When we’re shocked by the offering, we have neglected to prepare for all of our worship responsibilities. As a pastor, I am concerned for the spiritual state of our people’s souls. Giving represents a part of our life. Just like a pastor is concerned with how you love your spouse, giving is a command in Scripture. We cannot cherry-pick biblical commands to be concerned with, we must be concerned with the full counsel of His Word. For His Word is His will. So why should a pastor care about your financial giving?

First, the Bible mentions giving is an act of worship. Matthew 6:2-4 Jesus says that when we give, we need to give secretly and to the Lord. “Your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” In context of chapter 5:21-7 Jesus is talking about righteous actions done for God’s glory. These are sacrificial acts of worship done by believers to honor the Lord. If giving finances to the Lord is worship, then would you want your pastor concerned with your giving? It would seem rather silly to want a pastor to care about your worship but say giving is off limits to the pastor’s concern.

On the flip said, failure to give indicates what? If giving is worship and there is no giving, then where does the money go? If hobbies take all our finances, what is our god? The Lord? or our hobby? Just like we don’t believe someone who says, “I love the church” then never shows up, serves, or invests in others, why would we believe someone loves the church who fails to give? Financial hardships do come. And many times they are difficult, but even giving $1 because it’s all we have is better than nothing. Our finances reflect our heart’s commitment — it reflects our worship.

Second, the Bible provides principles for giving. The Bible says you should give generously, consistently, purposefully, sacrificially, not done grudgingly or under compulsion, cheerfully, within your means, for the ministry, thankfully — recognizing God provides for you, and for His glory. (2 Cor. 9:6-15). Your pastor should be concerned with the attitude, reasons, and intentions behind your giving. Why? Because God is concerned with these attitudes. In fact, “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

God says,

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9 as it is written, “HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.” 10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Cor 9:6-15)

Did you catch that? it’s a command! God is concerned about our giving. He cares about our role and responsibilities in our church. Be prepared, give regularly, and do it because you love Christ! Vacationing all summer? Great!! Enjoy it! Did you pay rent while out of town? Does ministry and worship stop? Even when out of town, stay faithful to your regular giving. It’s an indictment on ourselves that most churches giving dwindles 20-50% during the summer months. Our church relationship isn’t just when available on Sunday. It’s a relationship with our family. Neglecting our families’ needs seems what? [insert an answer].

When God says He loves something, it merits attention. Your pastor loves you and wants what is best for you as it pertains to your relationship with Christ. Being a cheerful giver like the Triune God is a cheerful giver reflects His character and work. It honors Him and glorifies Him. He loves those who reflect His work. “Paul is affirming that God has a special love for those who are cheerful as they give.” [1] “The point is that giving willingly from the heart pleases Him. Give with cheerfulness, not with misgivings, or second thoughts.” [2] Shepherds want to sit next to you in heaven and hear God say, “I love your cheerful giving.”

Our giving needs to be primarily to our local church, then spill into other ministries. Take care of your family first, then others. This actually is freeing for me. I do not feel like I have to donate to every person by a grocery store fighting cancer asking for my change. I give to the local church.

Third, your pastor is not concerned with numbers, only your obedience. You will note, the Bible does not mention 10 percent as the standard for giving. The OT sacrificial system would be closer to 33 percent. God is more concerned with your heart attitude than the amount you give. Therefore your pastor is not concerned with the amount, only that you are obedient to Him. Pastors do not care if you give $100,000 or $1. He wants you to follow the principles above, be deliberate, be thoughtful, and do it because you love Christ.

Many fall into the trap (me too), this isn’t enough. So how do we respond? With nothing. I can’t hit my bench mark, so I don’t give. That is silly. Give anyway. $2 has more reward in heaven than $0. Look at what Paul says, “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account” (Phil 4:17). This is your pastor’s perspective. Giving serves the church and ministry, but it has personal profit for you too. Weird? Yes, maybe. But is the Lord lying to us when He says, “Increases to your account?” No. Amen!

10931065_10205321698593783_648816575723853474_nIf you give $100,000 and blow your trumpet, advertise in the streets, and did it under compulsion, your pastor should warn you because drawing attention to our actions does not honor the Lord (Matt. 6:2-3). But if you give $1 privately, following biblical principles, and do it because of the supremacy of Christ and His, then you give in a way that honors the Lord. You give to the Lord, therefore pastors do not know what you give. We only desire your giving imitate the Lord’s will. Why? It’s good for your account!

Fourth, elders do not view the offering as coming from you. They view the offering as coming from the Triune God. Why? “Now He supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Cor. 9:10) “What the two verses [9:8 and 10] have in common is the ringing assurance of God’s bountiful provision making possible generous actions of every sort.” [3] The Bible says God builds His church and supplies it. The Lord determines the resources each church uses for His ministry. Pastors should not know who gives what. If you are a pastor and you care who gives what, then there is a danger and you potentially work to gain those with money.

Should your pastor be concerned with your giving? The only reason a person should say “no” is if he is an unbeliever or prideful. If we properly understand the principles of giving and the reason for giving, then the pastor’s concern is justified and warranted. When we realize the heart attitude, intention, reason, and consistency are the main principles, then we find comfort knowing our pastor, like the Lord, wants what is best for us.

[1] Murray J. Harris, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, NIGTC. Eerdman’s, Grand Rapids, MI 2005. pg 636.

[2] Homer A. Kent, Jr. A Heart Wide Open: Studies in 2 Corinthians, BMH Books, Winona Lake, IN 2006. pg 145.

[3] Harris, 641.

 

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