From Your Churchgoer’s Perspective: Giving as Accountability

When you decide to step out of financial stress and get on the ladder toward peace, make sure you give your initial gift in a way that is identifiable and by which you can be held accountable.

That means, first of all, that when you give your gift to your local church, do it through whatever offering system the church has in place. If your church provides offering envelopes, make sure you give using an offering envelope. Or maybe you can give to your church online. Just make sure you give in a way that lets the church leaders know you gave.

People sometimes question this by bringing up Jesus’ words in Matthew 6: “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others,  for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven….Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (vv. 1, 4).

Too many people think this passage means they should give without any kind of acknowledgement. But that’s an incorrect interpretation. In reality, it means you shouldn’t tell other people the amount you are giving. You shouldn’t brag about the fact that you give or disclose the dollar amount of your gifts to your friends and relatives. In no way does it mean your church leaders shouldn’t know.

Scripture goes on to tell us that those who have been appointed leaders within the church should know what people are giving back to God. In fact, Mark recounts the story of Jesus sitting by the collection box in the temple, watching as people brought their gifts (Mark 12:41). In the book of Acts, givers actually brought their gifts to the church and laid them at the pastor’s feet (Acts 4:34-35 NIV). Aren’t you glad we don’t have to do that today?

Those who have been appointed leaders within the church should know what people are giving back to God. Click To Tweet

Even though we have moved away from ancient methods of giving to more modern options like envelopes, online giving, and bank auto-debit, the principle remains the same. You must give your gift in a way that is identifiable to your church leaders. Why? So that they will hold you accountable for your giving–not so they can lord it over you but so they can report back to you on what you’ve given and how it is being used.

–Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from pgs. 49-50 of The Generosity Ladder: Your Next Step to Financial Peace.

Help your people find financial peace with my best-selling book, The Generosity Ladder. Imagine a life in which you don’t struggle to make ends meet each month–a life with no debt, a healthy savings account, and solid plans for retirement. Imagine being able to help people in need and give to causes much bigger than your own concerns. This is how God wants everyone to live. And it is attainable. With the help of this practical and insightful book, your people will uncover their true level of financial health and discover a step-by-step plan to save, spend, and invest money in a responsible, godly way. Click here for more information on ordering in bulk for your church.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyChurch Systems, Leadership