Evangelicals are terrible givers. It’s a well known fact in Evangelical churches that the vast majority of attenders are not giving regularly much less tithing. My church confronted us with this cold hard fact two weeks after Easter. So much for the afterglow of the Resurrection.
In my church only 18% of the members give “regularly”. Regularly was defined as at least $20 a month for and a total of $1000 a year. To make matters worse, the top 20% of “regular givers” donate 85% of the churches entire budget.
Quite powerfully the pastor asked one section of the sanctuary to stand up which was roughly 18% of the people in the room. He stated, “would we think it odd if these people were the only people in the room singing? Would the rest of you think you are participating?” Then he had all but 20% of that group sit down. He pointed out that if those people had the same attitude toward giving that the rest of the room had, the church would not be running.
We’ve never “passed the plate” in our church. Instead, giving boxes were placed at the back of the sanctuary. With all of the abuses in the Christian world it was quite refreshing to attend a church that didn’t make the offering front and center. But if only 20% of the congregation is being transformed to view their money as God’s first in any meager way, something clearly had to change. Our teaching pastor said, “we’ve tried the subtle approach, we’ve tried the ‘freedom approach, we’ve tried the winsom approach, but none of it’s getting through, so this week we’re going to go with the full frontal assault.” They also made it quite clear that our books are open but if you didn’t trust them to spend the money well, then they need to find a place to worship where you do trust them.”
Have a listen to one of the most powerful sermons I’ve heard on giving.
You can download the sermon directly from here.