Churches experiencing a downturn in giving
I've been hearing and reading an awful lot about churches that are being affected by the bad economy. In other words, they're passing the plate but there ain't nothing going in.
It is happening at the church I attend as well. I am all for supporting the church that you attend with finances. There are costs associated with running a church and bills to be paid. I also believe that Pastors should be taken care of financially. How many times do they get called outside of their office hours to visit someone in the hospital, give counsel during a family crisis, etc.?
Where I have a problem is when you are told how much to give. I am not a big fan or believer in the "tithe". I believe in giving with a cheerful heart and the amount is between the giver and the Lord. I used to attend a church where the Pastor asked me if I was giving. He not only asked me that, he also was trying to figure out how much I made and then talk turned to how much I put into my 401K. When I told him, he actually had the audacity to tell me that I should not be putting that much in. He also took a look at the giving of the members of the church, which in my mind is a huge no-no. Actually the giving should not be seen by anyone. Of course someone has to look at it because you get a receipt for taxes at the end of the year, but that should be it.
I am able to give a little more now than when I was at that church because I had some huge bills that were paid off this past Summer.
I pray that this economy will turn around, but it doesn't look too good at this time. If you're working, consider yourself blessed. There are many right now who have been let go right before Christmas. I have friends and family that are jobless right now.
Lets all take care of one another.