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May 28, 2013

Opinions Vary on Knowing What People Give

Six voices offer a wide range of perspectives on a difficult question.

We've previously covered the question of whether pastors should know what people give, and we featured one high-profile pastor's thoughts on knowing what people give. The question recently surfaced again in a national survey, and our sister publication Christianity Today took a closer look by asking six voices to weigh in.

The answers ranged from a definite "yes" to a definite "no."

Gary Moore, founder of the Financial Seminary, offered this response:

Biblical principles support faithful giving in secret. Moses commanded a flat tax where all supported the temple equally; Jesus said to practice charity in secret. The real stewardship question is whether we want to simply and pragmatically raise funds or biblically create disciples.

How is your church handling this question?

Related Tags: finances, giving, pastors, relationships, tithes


I've been the bookkeeper in a Boise church for 30 years. Our pastors have chosen not to know what people give. Our church is not in any debt and our giving approach is very low pressure. Since I am the only one who does know I have noticed over the years that some folks will apologize to me or appear to feel guilty and uncomfortable concerning what they give, even though I assure them I do not keep tab on them. I feel that leadership not knowing what individuals give is best because when attenders need a pastor, they have no pre-conceived idea that they are judged or treated better or worse, or get more or less attention because of their giving. I believe this policy gives attenders more freedom in their relationships with leaders and that they more easily ask for and receive prayer, counsel and help when they need it without that perceived barrier.

While I agree with your statement and the procedure that was posted by Nancy, I too am the only one who knows who and what; and some of my elderly people come and say the same to me, My problem and from a associational meeting I was at a few years back , the issue I have is that many of our Deacons, Chairman's of Stewardship, Personnel and Budget do not tithe, they fill out a pledge agreement for building and make small attempts at honoring and yet because everyone assumes they financial support not only the church but several of their "personal" projects they want funded they get re-elected every year. While I don't think amounts should enter into it, I believe that the Chair of the Nomination Committee should be aware if a member at least tithes.

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