Guest / Limited Access /
Should Pastors Know How Much Church Members Give?

A recent study found that churches where pastors know how much is donated and by whom were more likely to be doing well financially. However, only half of the 3,000 responding congregations (and only 39 percent of evangelical ones) told the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving that their pastors knew this information.

What experts said (starting with "yes" and moving to "no"):

"This notion of pastors not knowing how much people give is a recent development, born out of a materialistic, individualistic society. As a pastor, you're the doctor of the congregation. You've got to be looking at diagnostic information, and there's none better than financial giving."
Jim Sheppard, CEO, Generis

"A pastor doing ministry should have access to financial data and use it in ways that are prescriptive, descriptive, and diagnostic. They're entrusted with other personal challenges: birth and death and the life experience in between. Money shouldn't be any different."
Aimée Laramore, associate director, Lake Institute

"Our research found 83 percent of pastors think most church members don't want them to know how much individuals give, while 78 percent think the information can help assess a member's spiritual health. The metaethical question: Give to do what?"
John and Sylvia Ronsvalle, empty tomb inc.

"Not necessarily, but there are things pastors should know. The pastor could be notified when someone starts giving, stops giving, or gives a large gift for a special purpose. When deciding on future leaders, it is also helpful to know if those being considered are faithful givers."
Brian Kluth, founder, stateoftheplate.info

"Biblical principles ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueA New Creation Story
Subscriber Access Only A New Creation Story
Why do more homeschoolers want evolution in their textbooks?
RecommendedHere's Why 800 Christians Left Their Old Churches, and How They Chose New Ones
Here's Why 800 Christians Left Their Old Churches, and How They Chose New Ones
Pew examines church shopping among evangelicals (and other groups) in 2016.
TrendingResearch Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
Research Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
A study of 250 congregations suggests that youth and young adults want substance rather than style.
Editor's PickOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Christianity Today
Should Pastors Know How Much Church Members Give?
hide thisMay May

In the Magazine

May 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.