Many small churches struggle with money. For some, there aren’t enough congregants with enough income to pay all the bills and the maintenance upgrades – even if everyone tithed the full 10%. For the rest, the members often struggle with finances at home and are limited in what they can contribute.  Studies show most want to give more, but can’t.

The challenge for leaders is to teach their congregation about the spiritual nature of giving, about getting their spirit in order first, then adjusting  their lifestyle to match the spirit, and finally finding the freedom to give from “enough” God has given them.

Steve Sappington was a college classmate of mine, and has used his farming background to come to grips with this problem.    He has written a new book, Today’s WORD on Money, to help people understand what the Bible says about their finances.  It’s a 40-day workbook, suitable for private or group study.

Alan Ross, CEO of Kingdom Companies says:

In the midst of tremendous financial uncertainty, the most certain thing we have is our faith that the Father is for us so who can be against us. The 40 day challenge that Steve has laid out for us may well be the best use of our time, our energy and our focus. These meditations will not change our circumstances, but they will change us; in a way that may well change the financial circumstances affecting our lives. Steve has presented us with the word of God in a powerful and challenging way. Read it for 40 days and be blessed.

Read more about this resource at Steve’s website,

I want you to think about how you ask for money for church events, and what you are teaching the people when you do ask.

Are you teaching giving to God out of gratitude for your salvation?  Are you teaching a model of sharing what you have for the common benefit of all?  Both of those come from a practice of regular tithing – a weekly or biweekly or monthly share of your income.

Or do you fund the church with bake sales and flea markets?  (more…)

In reply, Tim posted words of wisdom on November 19, 2008

Even the institutional system considers it holy that 75 – 85% of the giving is devoted to buy hired help and buildings that benefit mostly the givers themselves. That’s pooling, not giving.

That’ll preach.