How Should a Pastor Give?

church-offering-plate-thumb1620291I’ve been thinking about the topic of giving a lot lately, especially as it relates to Pastoral Ministry. I’m taking for granted the fact that pastors should give and should give generously, as the Lord allows them to do so. A Pastor who doesn’t give generously to his church is really nothing more than a hired hand, because he isn’t participating in one of the most important aspects of the community that he’s serving.

When I started serving at my first church 10 years ago, God placed it on my heart to begin giving as much as I could to support the work of the ministry of the church. At first it was a very small amount, but over time it has become a very significant part of our family budget and a tremendous source of joy.

However, the other day I was sitting in church after the announcements as the plate was being passed and I realized that I had been making a terrible mistake that needs to be rectified. Now, I’m pretty comfortable with technology, so for a number of years I’ve been using Online Bill Pay to pay our mortgage, electric bills, etc. The most natural thing in the world for me was to do my tithing in the same way, but what I’ve just recently realized is the fact that by doing so I haveĀ  robbed the congregation of seeing me participate in this significant part of our corporate worship.

A pastor is to be an example to the flock in every possible way. He is to be a “one woman man”, so his marriage is always on display as an example to the flock that he serves. He is called to be an active participant in worship, which is why it’s so bad for a pastor to be working on his sermon as the congregation is singing. Even a pastor’s parenting is to be an example to the flock as he is to keep his children under control…or for those of us with little children, some semblance of control :-). The point is that those of us in pastoral ministry are to lead by example. When the plate comes and we nicely smile and nod at the usher, that sends a message that we probably didn’t intend to send. You see, that usher doesn’t know and the people behind us don’t know that our tithing is coming in the mail, they just see what happens on Sunday mornings.

Maybe this is part of ministering in more of a rural setting where folks still carry cash with them and write checks or use cash to pay for big purchases (one of the ladies in my church actually bought a car with $16,000 in cash a few years ago). But, at least in my context, the answer to the question of how a pastor should give is: Publicly. Not ostentatiously or with great fanfare, but publicly nonetheless, participating in the life of the community just like the rest of the flock that we are setting an example for.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

June 27 2011 04:00 am | Devotional

Comments are closed.