Through our adventures in generosity with churches of all sizes and locations, we have discovered five significant themes behind a lack of giving. Pastor, your response to them may require a pastoral moment, a teaching moment, a blessing, or a hard conversation. Lead these people on a path to discovering the joy and blessing of biblical generosity.
Unable. Only a few make this qualification. The legitimately unable are under duress on unusual fronts. They may be unemployed or waiting for disability. While this is a truly rare position, they may be in a position to receive from others in these days.
Uninformed. These people may have a very limited understanding about the freedom of giving and how generosity reflects the heart of God. This is why it is important to teach and live biblical generosity throughout your church. Let the people know the blessing and joy of giving to God’s purposes.
Uninspired. Neither the mission of God’s Kingdom or the specific work/project/initiative of your church inspires their heart. Check your vision with a humble heart; ask trusted advisors if you are on target. If so, this could be a tough conversation, but help them consider finding another church; you need their seat during your weekend services.
Unwilling. This group knows that the mission is important – even inspiring. Gently lead through pastoral moments: “Do you think life consists of possessions? Do you know that greed kills and suffocates life? Can you open your heart to the things of God?” You may not be able to change their mind, but can God do a work in their heart?
Unequipped. “No one has shown me how to give.” This group might be new to the faith, new to your church environment. If new to the faith, they might be afraid to show their lack of knowledge and awareness. Pastor, teach them biblical generosity and show them how to receive the joy that comes from giving. Teach and show the mechanics on how to give (online, mobile, offering basket, etc.) – celebrate each on-ramp of giving.
Underground. Once your physical life on earth has ended, you can no longer experience the joy of giving. Your reward is already set.
Pastor, as you lead and teach your church, give credence to current realities, but God does not want them to stay there. God wants them to experience so much more, “remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Acts 20:35).