Pastors & Member Giving

GivingThe May 2013 edition of Christianity Today includes a conversation about whether or not pastors should know how much church members give (p.16).  The piece features six perspectives placed on a continuum from yes to no.

So What?

Over the years, I have been involved in many conversations about this topic.  It is one about which many people have very strong feelings.

Which of the following best describes what you believe is appropriate? Which best describes your local congregation’s current practice?

  • Pastors should have total access to financial data, including how much individual members give.
  • Pastors should have some insight into giving on the level of individuals but not have access to the amount given (e.g., be able to know when someone who has always given stops giving or when someone who has never given starts giving).
  • Pastors should have access to overall data about where money comes from (pledged giving, plate receipts, rentals, etc.), but no access to data about whether or not a specific person gives or how much any individual gives.

recent study found that churches where pastors know how much is donated and by whom were more likely to be doing well financially. Does that information have any impact on how you answer the question above? Why or why not?

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