When Should Pastors Check Church Donor Records?


Some ministers believe they should know exactly how much various individuals give to the church. They believe the checkbook is a barometer of a person’s spirituality, and knowing a person’s giving pattern is necessary for proper pastoral care. Other pastors don’t want to know what their people give; they feel it’s a private matter between the person and the Lord.

I come down in the middle on this issue. I do not need to know what everybody gives to the church. I assume they’re all good givers until I have reason to believe otherwise. So I prefer not to know.

Except in certain instances. When I am looking for a trustee or someone to chair a building-fund drive, I will examine what the candidate has contributed to the church. If I am choosing the missions committee chairperson, I investigate how he or she donates to missions. I cannot expect people to follow someone who is not a giver, and I cannot expect people to give if the leaders of a giving program do not give, themselves.

So, I will examine people’s giving, but only on rare occasions. It’s like a reference, a character check. And even in these situations, I’m not after specific amounts. I just want to know if the person gives more than a token amount.

SOURCE: Christianity Today
Arthur DeKruyter