For much of its history, the Adventist Church enjoyed the abundance of generosity from church members as they gave their tithes and offerings, perhaps out of habit, or parental example and persuasion, or simply belief in God and the church. However, in recent years that has changed somewhat, almost paralleling what is happening in the rest of the religious world in North America.
Back in the “good old days” which we remember fondly, when a pastor could say to his congregation, “God said to give, so you must give,” or something in a similar vein, church members by and large gave without questioning. That’s no longer true, and whenever it’s mentioned to pastors that generous giving has taken on different dimensions, they nod in solemn agreement.
Today members usually want to know what happens with their money, they expect to have a voice, they want reports, they want to know just what their money is used for, and if they don’t receive answers to their questions, they may well do one of three things—stop giving, lessen their giving and channel some of their funds elsewhere, or demand more attention as donors—and yes, that word, “donors” is not just relegated to secular causes. The habits of giving by most church members and their expectations of information and recognition have become nearly parallel with those whom we have traditionally labeled “donors.”
Although religion is still the Continue Reading…