What does your pastor know?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Deacon, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Does your pastor know how much you make or what you give to the church? …should he know?

    It’s been a tradition in the church I attend, that the pastor does not know what each family gives. The general reasoning is that it ensures that he will show no favoritism to those who give more or less.

    The reasoning follows James 2 “…if you show partiality, you are committing sin..." (vs. 9).

    Our leadership has been challenged to examine this tradition.

    In the New Testament giving was apparently out in the open in some instances. Others knew what you were giving.

    Mark 12:41-44, (Luke 21:2f) “A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins…” (vs.42)

    Acts 5:1-11 (Ananias and Sapphira), “…he laid it at the apostles’ feet…”

    How is this matter handled at the church you attend?
    Does the pastor know how much you give?

    Rob
     
  2. Liz Ward

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    good heavens no! In fact in England i doubt if there is any church anywhere where the pastor would know how much a particular family gives. Only the treasurer would ever know.

    I lived in Wales for a couple of years and strangely enough they had there the relics of a system, in some Anglican churches, where each person's giving was recorded and published at the AGM, now that WAS scary!
     
  3. steveo

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    No way.
    In Mark, Jesus knew and used it as an example.
    In Acts it doesnt say they shared it with the whole church.
    Matt 6:3,4 tells us it should be in secret.
    I know capital stewardship programs use Mark to say we should stand up and tell people, which the use of this verse is out of context.
    Also, Paul tells us how to give in Chap 9, and one point is to not give out of necessity.
    Some churchs make us feel like we have to give by compulsion, not as we purpose in heart.
    One church I heard of post the giving for each family for the month. Sad!!!
     
  4. Deacon

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    I sort of working my way through this myself. My response here is not an attack; only further questioning. [​IMG]

    You bring up 2 Corinthians 9:1-7, that’s interesting. Paul was honoring the Macedonians for their generosity and encouraging them to continue to give cheerfully.

    How can a pastor encourage those blessed with riches to continue giving if he is kept in the dark about who makes the generous donations?
    In 1 Timothy 6:17-19 Paul writes: “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
    storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (NAS) [Bolding and italics added]

    Should not the pastor encourage those who give to continue giving?
    Should he know who has neglected giving in order to encourage them?
    If it is observed that someone who had been giving has stopped giving, would that not be a big clue regarding their discontent or a personal problem that may be kept secret?

    We ask our pastors to keep a lot of personal information in confidence, why do we not trust them with our church body's financial information too?

    Rob
     
  5. aefting

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    Rob,

    I think a pastor can do most of the things you mentioned generically without knowing who it applies to specifically. There will always be those who need encouragement to give and it is always nice to hear "well-done" church for your faithful giving.

    It certainly makes it much easier to preach and deal with people if you are concerned about how much you might lose if they stop giving. Of course, sometimes, and I have seen this, a pastor assumes that a wealthy person is a big giver. So, the temptation is there regardless, I guess.

    I am the treasurer at my church. I keep records of, but try not to think about, who gives what. I have never given anyone any idea how much anyone gives. Our pastor is happy to keep it that way. I wish I didn't know.

    The problem for me comes when, as a deacon, we select members to serve on various committees: budget, mission, etc. People who don't give should not have a say in how the finances in the church are spent. But I don't feel comfortable saying, "I object to so-and-so because they don't give." Normally, I just pray about it and so far it hasn't become an issue.

    Andy
     
  6. go2church

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    Never, I don't want to know. I like leaving that knowledge with the treasurer. I am a lucky pastor, I can barely get our treasurer to speak up during the business meetings!
     
  7. Deacon

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    We are considering guidelines to give to our church treasurer to let our pastor know who tithes for that very reason.

    Also the pastor may be notified when a big contribution is given (so he can personally thank them) and when a family's giving pattern changes (so he can be alerted to possible problems).

    Next quarters sermons will be on that great Itallian prophet, Malachi (pronounced MAL-AH_CHE [​IMG] :rolleyes: )

    We plan to concurrently offer a 6 week seminar on finances to help our congregation get out of debt. Where peoples money is---there you will also find their heart.

    Rob
     
  8. graceb2u

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    Our church does not ask. I really don't want to know what other people give. Our pastor never asks anyone nor do the deacons. My husband and I do not even use a church envelope. We don't want anyone to know what we give or how much because we want our blessings from God. When you give don't let the right hand know what the left hand is doing.
     
  9. aefting

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    I would recommend against having the pastor personally thanking people for making large contributions. That may be appropriate in many other situations but in a local church context, I don't think it is healthy. When I give, I give unto the Lord and I would feel very funny if the pastor came up and thanked me personally if I made a large gift.

    At times, I have mentioned to my pastor that our church members appear to be giving abundantly out of their poverty. As I said before, I think it is appropriate at times for the pastor to acknowledge to the church that they have been giving well.

    I can understand the thinking behind wanting to minister to people who are not giving. I just think that knowing that information creates more difficulties than it resolves.

    Andy
     
  10. steveo

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    Yes, we can encourage them to give but the bible doesn't say Paul knew the exact amounts.
    I don't think its a problem if the pastor is informed that someone doesn't give at all, especially someone that is in a leadership position, since it shows thier heart, but I don't need to know how much they give or don't give.
    Sometimes we are going to find out and that happens. It shouldn't be the rule though.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Does the pastor give an account for you? Do they care about your spiritual growth in serving God, in ministering in the body, in raising families, etc?

    Of course they do. But then we HIDE a huge area of life from the pastor (finances) and in an area where so many Christians fail and desperately need a pastor's help and guidance, the pastor is "in the dark".

    I do not advocate the Mormon policy (they require members to submit 1040 form copy to church and a "tithe" is then calculated by the board - I kid you not). But I think that in the guise of "individual freedom" we might need to rethink this.
     
  12. TaterTot

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    Yes, my pastor knows exactly what we give.

    He's my sweet hubby. Actually, I am not sure if he knows how much we give. I give it, and if I forget, we give it later.

    But as a pastor, he doesnt know who gives what. Of course we know who has money in the church and who doesnt, but what they give is between them and the Lord. Now, about the treasurer... she has a big mouth and when there is a large gift, she tells who did it. :(
     
  13. Pastor J

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    At my church, I have a treasurer and he and his assistant handle the finances. I am not involved at all. I get a monthly update on the budget and that is good enough for me. However, with all that, in a small church it is easy to know who gives and who doesn't. My philosophy is that their giving is between them and God. I teach on giving, but it really is up to the Lord to convict them.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    When I pastored I did not know what ANY individual person gave. On some days, I often wished I did. On others, I was thankful to be "in the dark".

    We did ask the treasurer to give a report by "category" to our budget meeting to establish an annual budget.

    They would be classified as
    Members, over 5k annual giving
    Members, $3-5k annual giving
    Members, $2-3k
    Members $1-2k
    Members $500-1k
    Members $100-500
    Members, under $100
    and same divisions for non-members

    So if the treasurer said we had 2 people in category 1 and so on, we could see what was happening and IF a family left, how would the church handle it.

    Remember, I was a MISSION pastor and knew where MY giving fit in (and would be lost when I left) and so budgets could be planned.

    And individual annonymity remained sacred.
     
  15. Deacon

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    The church were I attend has a wide range of income levels, from the relatively wealthy to those in need. A recently visiting pastor remarked a number of times how suprised he was that there was such diversity within the congregation.

    I collect the offerings each Sunday and am continually disapointed by the "tips" and the pocket change that people give to the Lord as an offering.

    We know that many people are in financial debt and can not give due to that great burden and we plan on working with our attenders to help them out of that situation.
    Part of that process is the disclosure of giving patterns to the person in charge over them, the senior pastor.

    To those who give, we will encourage and instruct.
    To those who don't give, we will encourage discipline and teach methods of paying off debt so that they too can contribute to the Lord''s work here.

    Giving to the Lord is such a great blessing why should the rich get all the blessings (wish I could give more).

    Rob
     
  16. Servent

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    There's no way for my pastor to know what I give, You see what I give to the Lord is just that,I dont keep or want records for what I give to the church my money goes into a blank envelope, I want it to be from my heart not for taxs.
     
  17. joyfulkeeperathome

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    My pastor knows how much we make (sort of) b/c he's my dad!!! He also knows that I tithe, but he doesn't know what we give in offerings (we really don't know that amount) or faith promise...
     

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