Ten things we believe about giving

  • Last time out I referred to the “20 Statements About Giving” exercise that is part of the Nurturing Generous Giving workshops I’ve been offering across the Eastern Synod.

    Spoiler alert:  this post and the next few are going to report on some of the more interesting results from the exercise.  If you wish to complete the survey before reading what other people said, click on this link.

    I have assembled the data from each workshop and produced a summary of the responses from all of them.  With around 125 people responding, I feel we have a reasonably representative sample of what congregational leaders believe about giving in their own church.

    The profile of responses was not the same in each workshop.  No doubt this indicates a variety of experience and belief, to some degree at least, across the synod.

    Half of the twenty statements produced a strong majority response.  Here are the ten on which there seems to be considerable consensus.

    1. “If we ask for money for a specific project, people respond generously.” —  94% agree
    2. “Many of our members are seniors on a fixed income.” — 91% agree
    3. “What people give to the church is considered a private matter between them and God.” — 83% agree
    4. “We teach that giving has both a spiritual and a practical side.” — 80% agree
    5. “We regularly thank people for the money and volunteer time they give to the church.” — 76% agree
    6. “We offer the PAR system for offerings and encourage people to use it.” — 67% agree
    7. “People are already giving as much money to the church as they can.” — 75% disagree
    8. “We have enough money to be the kind of church we want to be.” — 73% disagree
    9. “Our total congregational income is growing at or above the rate of inflation.” — 66% disagree
    10. “The pastor knows how much each person/household gives.” — 65% disagree

    In future posts I’ll examine each of these in greater details.

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