Don't Get Upset About the Offering.

If there is one thing that I hear over and over it's about how churches are always asking for money.  So much so, recently, it has become the number one reason why people do not want to attend church.  Well, let me help you out with this.

#1 - Where does the church get it's money?  All churches are NOT equal.  Some denominations pay the churches bill and pastors salary.  Some churches have businesses like day cares or coffee shops that help pay the bills.  Some churches are stand alone businesses - they pay their bills on their own.  Why is this important?  If the church you attend is in the later category, believe me, they are going to place a lot of emphasis on the Sunday offering.

#2 - What is their theology or values about money as it relates to your relationship with Jesus?  2/3rds of the Gospels talk about money.  Tithing and giving was important in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.  Paul talks about fiscal giving and what the church should be focused on.   Does the church help you understand how to bring your finances under submission to God's will?  (Believe me, it's more than just giving in an offering.)  Does the church desire to help you worship God through your finances?

#3 - What are you looking for?  Fiscal integrity.  Does the church have a budget and trustees (sometimes called deacons) who help oversee the financial integrity of the church?  If the church is being honest and open about their fiscal shortfalls, can you really get upset about that?  After all, don't you get upset when you have more month than money?  Does the church invest its finances in what they believe?  Does the budget reflect their core values?  If they believe in missions, do they give to missions?  If they believe in helping the poor, do they give to the poor?  Therefore, don't be surprised if they ask for finances that support what they believe in.

#4 - The economy really stinks.   No surprise?  Good.  Because churches are not immune either.  Over the last few years I have seen dozens of churches close for one reason.  They ran out of money.   When the people in the church can't get paid, they can't give.  It is as simple as that.

Now I've seen my share of people who abuse the privilege of receiving an offering.  So I can understand the apprehension.  If you feel that something is wrong, don't quit - ask questions.  An honest pastor will answer your questions to the best of his or her ability.  So let's conclude with this thought.

The reason why most churches and/or pastors are lousy at receiving an offering is simply because they don't know how to make a good presentation.  Their heart is in the right place, but they don't know how to communicate it well.  I can say from personal experience, it isn't easy.  So the next time someone receives an offering, don't panic.  Pastors know that you're struggling - most are not trying to fleece you - they are doing their best.  Do what you can to help and watch it make a difference.

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