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WHAT!?!?! I knew it!!!! “All pastors care about is how much money the church has!” Most of us have probably heard this charge a time or two. Unfortunately there are ‘ministers’ out there who seem to care more about the quantity of your tithe than the quality of your heart in tithing. TBN seems to give time and space to men and women who advertise the more you give, the more blessed you are. But this post is not about false teachers. This post is about why faithful, men of God, trustworthy, honorable, and called to shepherd your soul care about your tithing — to be referenced as giving from this point on.

First, the Bible mentions giving is an act of worship. Matthew 6:2-4 Jesus says that when we give, we need to give secretly and to the Lord. “Your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” In context of chapter 5:21-7 Jesus is talking about righteous actions done for God’s glory. These are sacrificial acts of worship done by believers to honor the Lord. If giving finances to the Lord is worship, then would you want your pastor concerned with your giving? It would seem rather silly to want a pastor to care about your worship but say giving is off limits to the pastor’s concern.

Second, the Bible provides principles for giving. The Bible says you should give generously, consistently, purposefully, sacrificially, not done grudgingly or under compulsion, cheerfully, within your means, for the ministry, thankfully — recognizing God provides for you, and for His glory. (2 Cor. 9:6-15). Your pastor should be concerned with the attitude, reasons, and intentions behind your giving. Why? Because God is concerned with these attitudes. In fact, “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Would you want your pastor to desire God loves your cheerful giving? Your pastor loves you and wants what is best for you as it pertains to your relationship with Christ. Being a cheerful giver like the Triune God is a cheerful giver reflects His character and work. It honors Him and glorifies Him. He loves those who reflect His work. “Paul is affirming that God has a special love for those who are cheerful as they give.” [1] “The point is that giving willingly from the heart pleases Him, and this should encourage every Christian to give with cheerfulness, not with misgivings or second thoughts.” [2]

Third, your pastor is not concerned with what you give, only your obedience. You will note, the Bible does not mention 10 percent as the standard for giving. The OT sacrificial system would be closer to 33 percent. God is more concerned with your heart attitude than the amount you give. Therefore your pastor is not concerned with the amount, only that you are obedient to Him. Pastors do not care if you give $100,000 or $1. He wants you to follow the principles above, be deliberate, be thoughtful, and do it because you love Christ. If you give $100,000 and blow your trumpet, advertise in the streets, and did it under compulsion, your pastor should warn you that your giving did not honor the Lord (Matt. 6:2-3). But if you give $1 privately, following biblical principles and did it because Christ is supreme and you want to honor Him, then you gave in a way that honors the Lord. Your pastor will never know what you gave because that is between you and the Lord. But if pastor knew your heart, he would be encouraged by your sacrifice.

Fourth, pastors do not view the offering as coming from you. They view the offering as coming from the Triune God. Why? “Now He supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Cor. 9:10) “What the two verses [9:8 and 10] have in common is the ringing assurance of God’s bountiful provision that makes possible generous actions of every sort.” [3] The Bible says God builds His church and supplies it. The money received through giving is what the Lord determines the church uses for His ministry.  Pastors should not know who gives what. If you are a pastor and you care who gives what, then there is a danger and you potentially work to gain those with money.

Should your pastor be concerned with your giving? The only reason a person should say “no” is if he is an unbeliever or prideful. If we properly understand the principles of giving and the reason for giving, then the pastor’s concern is justified and warranted. When we realize the heart attitude, intention, reason, and consistency are the main principles, then we find comfort knowing our pastor, like the Lord, wants what is best for us.

[1] Murray J. Harris, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, NIGTC. Eerdman’s, Grand Rapids, MI 2005. pg 636.

[2] Homer A. Kent, Jr. A Heart Wide Open: Studies in 2 Corinthians, BMH Books, Winona Lake, IN 2006. pg 145.

[3] Harris, 641.