The last post looked at the fact that most people within simple/organic/house churches, although they give more generously than their traditional church counterparts, often do not give (or only give a part) via their simple church. Here are some potential reasons for this:
- Many simple churches do not discuss giving. Period. Christians have been so burned by the pressure to give from their previous experience that no one wants to bring up a potentially controversial subject.
- Some simple churches haven't set up a giving mechanism. They have neither a bank accounty nor do they take up offerings. They ponder over whether to become a 501C3 charitable entity. Some are very wary of giving information to the government. Others don't want to go through the hassle of all the paperwork.
- Many Christians have sought the Lord over their giving, and are giving where he indicates (which is not via their simple church network.)
- There is a lot of giving going on within the simple churches that doesn't go via the church as a whole. A person becomes aware of another person's need and provides for it without going through "official channels."
- Many people have friends who are involved in full-time Kingdom work and revel in the freedom to support them directly.
- To tithe or not to tithe: that is the question.
- Many individual churches or networks of churches have not sought God corporately regarding what he wants them to do with their finances.
- Lack of vision for what a strategy for giving might accomplish.
What other reasons can you think of?
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4 replies on “8 reasons why simple/organic/house church people may not give via their church”
Some of these could be considered excuses rather than reasons. I am including two additional reasons that came to mind (they may be similar to the ones already stated).:)
9. Many simple church folk are wary of anything that appears to be institutional.
10. Organization is a bad word for many simple churches which includes organized giving.
I believe giving to or thru the church depends on the kind of simple group you have.
As a priest (priesthood of all believers) who better to assess where to give than the priest, especially if she or he is involved in the lives of other people. (though sometimes we will need guidance)
The belief that there is no tithe that we are to bring to the temple……..
If people are involved in the lives of others it seems to me there will be many places to give. It just seems purer to give people the freedom to give where the Lord leads them. If we are learning to hear the Lord’s voice, free to baptize and free to reach out to whoever then it seems good that we be free to give to where the Lord leads us.
There are very few simple churches who seem to have a clear vision as to why they are meeting other then to meet.
I would give thru the church if the leadership made us aware of a need somewhere that we all could give to.
Giving thru the church will eventually lead to pressure.
What is assumed in this question of giving is that a simple church is organized enough for that to happen. This also implies what vision it has. I would like to see you do a series on what does it mean to “organize”? Or what is the difference between institutional organization and simple church organization.
TO FINANCE OR NOT TO FINANCE THE MISSION? Here is a short reply I sent to a friend recently about finances and house churches. I hope it adds to the ongoing discussion:
Thanks for the reply. No worries about taking a little while to respond. I remember your work and life schedule. I am sure you are busy. Okay, now I think I understand what you were concerned about in my article about financing apostolic leaders. And I think I agree with some of your concerns. You are right, I was not suggesting a rigid organizational and financial structure. And I was not suggesting that everyone who travels apostolically should always be financed by others out of duty and always fully. However, I do think that the Scriptures I sited at least allow for variations along a spectrum, anywhere from being self-supporting, to support by the receiving/sending house church(es) during a mission trip, to full time support when possible by a house church network on an ongoing basis. I am concerned for example, that well-known apostolic folks have to get themselves into personal debt to travel (like Wolfgang Simson) and others have to get their spouses to work while not receiving anything from the very house churches they have started (like Neil Cole). I think this indicates some immaturity and perhaps lack of vision on the part of many house churches. And this is simply shooting the whole movement in the foot. It is interesting that the two largest networks in Canada each have grown to their size, in part, because they have full time apostolic workers/planters, e.g. John Pritchard (12 groups in Calgary) and Lon Vining (7-8 groups in Montreal). The rest of us in Canada, and other places in the West, seem to be just crawling along isolated and barren because everyone is too busy with their secular work and responsibilities to devote to multiplying an entire network of house churches. I like the way some of the Indians do it. One network has about 10,000 house churches. These are led by something like 1000 volunteer house church leaders on a local level, but there are 100 travelling apostolic leaders, i.e. master builders, who are financed fully to connect, coach, and catalyze this network. This seems like a good ratio. Anyway, just a few of my thoughts on it. Okay, stay well brother.
RAD ZDERO, author of LETTERS TO THE HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT and THE GLOBAL HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT