Should You Know What People Give? (Part 1)

There is great debate among pastors about whether they should know who gives and how much a person gives.  Today, we will make the argument that you should know what a person gives. Tomorrow, we will cover the opposite side of the conversation.

Plain and simple, stewardship is discipleship.  How a person stewards God’s resources is an indication of how a person is growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ.  That’s why it is a healthy and holy practice to know the giving records of your church’s attendees and members.

Many will avoid knowing because of two prominent myths.

Myth #1: Knowing who gives what at your church is wrong.

Knowing what people give is not inherently wrong.  The knowledge of a person’s giving record is amoral.  What you do with that knowledge determines whether it’s immoral.

Myth #2: Knowing what people gives leads to showing favoritism

James 2:1 warns against showing favoritism. Knowing what a person gives poses a temptation to show favoritism, but giving into that temptation is something that you can guard against.

There are some critical reasons why knowing the giving records of the people in your church is important.

1. Giving is a discipleship issue.

Just as you maintain metrics concerning a person’s involvement in small groups, serve teams, and worship attendance to discern a person’s spiritual maturity, giving can also help with that discernment.  Jesus linked together a person’s faith and finances.  As you grow in your faith you should become more generous in your finances.

2. Giving is an indicator of commitment.

Giving can also be a metric of a person’s commitment to the church you lead.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also.”  A person’s commitment to your church can often be measured by their giving record.  When people show growth in their faith journey or commitment to your church in other ways, would it be out of order for you to recognize that, celebrate that, or thank them for that?  Absolutely not!  Furthermore, as you select leaders in your church for committees, ministry areas, or staff positions, you want to know whether a person’ heart belongs to God and to the church.

3. Knowing allows for Pastoral Care.

Knowing a person’s giving record would allow you or your staff the opportunity to do some great pastoral care.  While it’s one thing to know who the committed are, it is another thing to recognize who might be going through financial hardship, marital difficulty, or some type of pain and hurt.

Whether it is celebrating a person’s obedience to God, growing a person’s Spiritual-giftedness, or providing pastoral care, knowing a person’s giving gives you the opportunity for discipleship!

What are your thoughts on this topic?