When Church Members Don't Give

Giving is a miracle. It’s the inevitable result of abiding in Christ. It’s not an obligation, or even an option. It’s just evidence of new life in Jesus.

So, what about those attendees — and even members — at your church who contribute nothing, zero, nada to the operating budget — year after year? What gives?! Where’s the fruit of giving from their walk with Christ?

Should we expect a miracle?

Turns out the Apostle Paul did. He once told the Corinthian church that each and every member should set aside money weekly (in keeping with their income) for the Jerusalem collection. (1 Cor. 16:2)

Yes, he specifically said “each” member should give something. Zero was not an option.

But how does a person progress from giving “goose eggs” to giving something?

Let’s begin by checking a couple of options off the list.

First, leaning on people to give doesn’t work. Litanies laced with “shoulds” or sermon-style laments about how we need more commitment don’t inspire new dollars in the collection plate.

Second, there’s no such thing as believing another person into giving. Practicing generosity is about discipleship, and one believer can’t take those steps for another. When members give nothing, it’s not because your church isn’t believing enough.

What was the secret sauce to Paul’s unwavering expectation for giving? His confidence in the gospel message of freedom for the bound and life for the condemned! It was impossible to stop gratitude from people who received this blockbuster news! Giving was, well…a given!

But, to an even greater degree, Paul knew Holy Spirit-power. A heart of stone that’s changed into one that beats only for God is a miracle that defies human constructs. From this heart of flesh, there aren’t any limits to goodness and mercy.

Simply abiding in the Spirit produces uncommon generosity. Paul expected it.

So, what’s the point of dwelling on non-givers? There isn’t any. Instead, keep bathing your church’s ministry in gospel possibilities. Unbelief gets washed away from even the tiniest nooks wherever Holy Spirit-power flows. Doors previously slammed shut will open. Even non-givers begin giving.

It’s a miracle.

Expect it.