A lot of this post may or may not make sense…. I am thinking out loud
Recently, we have heard a lot of news about how charitable giving is down, churches and other charitable organizations are having trouble meeting their budgets. Educational institutions are closing, cutting back, or merging with other institutions. Invariably in all of this, the economy in general, is the reason for these things. I do not doubt the veracity of the statements, but I am trying to figure something out here.
I can see that because of price increases in (mainly food and fuel, although fuel has gone down considerably in recent days) that it would lead to people have less available for charitable contributions (outside of the local NT Church)
What I am trying to figure out is why giving is down in our churches in general?
I am reminded of the verse found in Proverbs 3:9 (NKJV)
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase.
The first check I write when I get paid is to my local church. My intent here is not get on a discussion of the validity of tithing,etc. For our family, we have used 10 % of our gross pay as a base and increase it 1% or so a year, but we never go below the 10% base. I understand that there are those who have lost their jobs, etc. What I can’t figure out is why people would be giving less, if nothing has changed. They are still working, they are still doing the same things they are doing that they always have done, in spite of the economy. Then why are our churches struggling financially?
Are people making arbitrary decisions regarding their giving? I do not know. I am looking at the weekly financial report from our local church from 12/14. Our Weekly budget is $23484 but our actual giving is $20,941 – a difference of about $2500.00 Could this be that our attendance is not what is used to be? Could it be that people who once gave have stopped giving? I do not know.
I am also reminded of a passage in 2 Corinthians 8:1-3 (NKJV)
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing.
These people gave in the midst of deep poverty. They exhibited a spirit of generosity and giving in the midst of extreme difficulty.
I am not directing a rebuke at anyone, I am just trying to figure out or understand why things are the way they are in our local churches today. Maybe I am missing something as to why people are not giving like they have in times past? Instead of rebuking me in the comments section (which I am prepared for) let me know what I am missing and enlighten me and the rest of the readers.