This article is an interesting view into the world of church finances in our local newspaper. The premise is that tithing and giving are down in local churches, and it details a few reasons why that might be the case.
First of all, there really are several statistics that show this to be the case across the board. Fewer and fewer people are giving to churches. One reason detailed in the article was:
Young people don’t give as regularly as their parents might have, and many people of all ages are giving to charities rather than to religious organizations.
There seems to be a “bang-for-your-buck” mentality on a certain level. It is easy to see the impact of a food bank or a clothing give-away, but young people may not as readily “see” the benefits of giving to a church.
This raises the question of why Christians give. Do we give to churches because we expect them to be social welfare programs? Churches should not shirk their responsibility there, but that is not why believers ought to give.
Another anecdote in the article:
“If your church is going to have a bigscreen TV, what is the point?” Cruz said.
This church-hunter was growing tired of the opulence of megachurches. I can certainly see his point, but it is a point that should be pressed. How much spending is too much for a church? A bigger TV for the youth group? A $10,000 bank of stage lighting? Really comfortable chairs in the sanctuary? My sense is that Mr. Cruz’s tolerance for spending would be different based on what he personally found beneficial to his family. Who really wants churches to go back to wooden pews?
Again, there is nothing wrong with churches being good stewards, but, again, this raises the question of why Christians ought to give. Do we give so we can tell a church board how to spend our money?