When should pastors know about people's giving?
At the meeting today of the Stewardship Commission, Don Fensterman gave a great report that went into provocative territory. He presented some material he gleaned from John Maxwell and Brian Kluth about what pastors should and should not know about people's giving in their churches.
The premise is that Jesus was not shy about observing giving patterns based on Mark 12:41a (watching people give in the Temple treasury). So, without fanfare, here are the principals we discussed and thought we'd love to hear your reactions:
1. Pastors should NEVER know the amount of dollars given.
2. A pastor should know when...an individual is being considered for a leadership position. The Treasurer should confirm that the candidate gives in a consistent, meaningful and proportional way.
3. A pastor should know...at the end of the year,a visual picture of the broad distribution bands of giving within the congregation, by ages, by amounts, by zip codes or other meaningful categories.
4. A pastor should know....when an individual STARTS giving consistently and should send out a brief note of appreciation for support for ministries and mission.
5. A pastor should know...when an individual signficantly DECREASES giving or stops giving. Typically this is part of a larger spiritual portrait that deserves pastoral care and conversation.
6. A pastor should know...when an individual has demonstrated an increased capacity to give. Too often people stay at the giving level at which they began congregational life regardless of capacity.
7. (We added this one as a group) A pastor should know....that all church staff are giving regularly and that the church leadership should know that the pastor gives consistently, meaningfully and proportionally.
So, what do you think? Is this sound spiritually? Does it keep privacy boundaries, yet keep finances part of one's discipleship?
let me know.