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A Pastor Case Study

In this ministry there are often themes that continue to present themselves no matter the location, denomination, or style of the church. One that continues to show up is the question of whether or not a pastor should know what members give.

I’ve heard from both sides recently in several churches, but one pastor who decided to take the plunge further convinced me of a pastor’s need to have this information.

First, let me set the stage for those who haven’t heard the case. It is a pastor’s job to pastor the members. That can mean encouraging a gift a member shows. It can mean celebrating a victory in someone’s life. Sometimes it is grieving with a hurting person, and sometimes it means challenging a Christian to grow. How does a pastor know who needs what? The pastor must take in all the information available including church attendance, inclusion in a small group, service in the church and community, personal conversations, and yes generosity. Church members are telling a story when they give, and pastors must be willing to listen.

A pastor at a church I’m working with looked at those giving records for the first time and was shocked. The top giver by a long shot was a family he had never expected. He now knows this family has the gift of giving, and he can encourage and affirm that gift. He also knows some of those in leadership in the church are giving very little, and some not at all. Now the pastor knows a critical area of discipleship for these leaders. He will not shame them in front of the church, or even ask them to pick up their level of giving. He will simply spend more time getting to know them and encouraging growth in every area, including generosity.

He has also found out potential stumbling block for his growing church. He told me he wishes he had known this information before calling certain individuals into leadership roles. Now he’s stuck and most likely will have to wait things out until a new round of nominations come up. You see, when a leader is generous, everything he or she says exudes generosity. Unfortunately the opposite can be true as well.

So pastors, if you’re wondering how this information can help you and how you might use it please let me know. I’ll be happy to connect you with a pastor who has been through the same process and has seen the value. Your people are telling you a story, it’s time to listen.

Nathan Ealy

Nathan spent eight years as a sports radio and television broadcaster before feeling God¹s leading towards serving churches in the area of generosity and giving, just as his father does. Nathan is in his fifth year as a Generosity Strategist, helping churches grow their generosity culture and raise money for ministry projects. Nathan and his wife Laura have two girls under the age of three, Evelyn and Charley Kate.

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