A Short To-do List Before Your Next Sermon on Giving

I will make this quick and to the point. Before you preach your next sermon on giving, ask your treasurer to give you a break down on giving at your congregation. (It would be better if you saw the actual numbers with names, but at this point, I will not waste the ink. I know, you don't want to see.) Ask your treasurer for the following.

·      How many giving units do you have?

·      What is the average donation per family?

·      What do the top ten family units give?

·      How much cash is given on average?

·      How many family units give less than $1000 a year?

·      How many family units give nothing or almost nothing?

Now, you need to do this a few weeks before the sermon because you will need time to process it. You will be disturbed, angry and even depressed perhaps. Here is what you will find out.

A large number of your people don’t give or they don’t give very much. My guess is you will find out, especially if you are at a larger church, that as many as one-third of your families give less than $1,000 a year.

Let that sink in! One out of three people you see on Sunday do not support the church in a significant way.

You will be able to explain away some of these results. A few people truly cannot give much, and others may be so infrequent in attendance their lack of giving will not surprise you.

But you can’t explain it all away.

I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer. And I really am not bad-mouthing the brethren.

But you need to know the facts before you preach on giving, even if the facts keep you up at night.