Yes, a Pastor should know the giving of church members. Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21 NKJV) By knowing the giving of church members, church leadership is able better to discern the heart of each member/family of the church. Jesus clearly observed the giving of people as he highlighted the giving of the widow. Caution should be exercised however, by church leaders to never treat members different based on giving levels. The knowledge of giving provides greater insight and wisdom by a loving shepherd but never should be used to manipulate or elevate church members.
I think the question boils down to, “should the leaders of the church investigate the giving records when the church is in some crisis?” In the normal life of the church the Elders and leaders don’t need to know the names of those who give which amount. Rather, we trust the Lord’s provision and trust the church to give — budgeting accordingly. Recently our Elders requested information from our treasurer in regards to giving tiers, number of individual givers, giving per member, etc so that our members can see giving trends in the church. it helps us all see how many are giving how much? Where are financially as a church? This way the membership knows the importance of their individual tithes. But to get into crisis and begin to connect giving amounts with names is a slippery pastoral slope. One would be tempted to think of members in terms of their giving record and be partial to some. Pastors would be more prone to look at the individual giving records the next time something comes up in the church. Stay focused on the hearts of the members and their maturity. If need be, have individual conversations with members about their giving habits to help gauge a road forward.
Jim Breeden is the Executive Director of the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, a church planter and experienced leader in Replanting Churches in a metropolitan context.
Nathan Loudin serves as Sr. Pastor at Milwood Baptist church in northwest Austin, Tx. He and his wife, Colette, served in Hong Kong, China for four years before moving to Austin in 2011. They have four children at the ages of 8, 6, 4, and 2. Follow Nathan on Twitter: @loud_in_out
Published May 19, 2017