Debunking the Top Six Reasons Against Electronic Giving-Pt 2
This is the conclusion to Nathan Ealy's two blog series debunking the top six reasons against electronic giving. If you have not done so, go back and read part one of Nathan's blog covering his thoughts on the top three reasons church leaders push back against electronic giving.
4. We want people to worship by giving in the service.
This is a legitimate concern and I share it. If everyone in the church were giving electronically then the plates would look pretty empty (some of you are saying that they look empty already!). Currently I have my bank send a check directly to the church so I’m in the boat with those who have no way to participate when the plate is passed.
So allow a way for those who give electronically to participate in worship if your church passes the plate (Many have transitioned to “giving boxes” in the back although every church still should have a worship moment for giving). I’ve seen laminated cards in the pew that say “I gave electronically” or even giving envelopes that allow a person to check a box saying they gave online. It’s important for our children to see that giving is a priority and guests in the church will also take note if it seems the members are giving generously.
5. It will cause more work for our financial secretary/treasurer/assistant, etc.
In some cases you might be right. But back to an earlier point, is it worth it if more people in your church are growing in their faith and if the church has more money to support ministry?
From my conversations with church administrators, most say online giving makes their job easier. Many systems automatically sync with the church database so he or she doesn’t have to input every single donation. Also it can cut down on trips to the bank!
One of the biggest advantages is that it eases those slumps that we see during the summer or when weather has an impact on Sunday services. If people are still able to give online, or if they have set up recurring giving then we don’t have to remind them each Sunday to catch up!
6. We don’t feel it’s Biblical.
I heard this for the first time not long ago, from a former pastor. He believed that when the book of Malachi says to “bring all the tithes to the storehouse” it means we should be only giving during Sunday service. Of course this could make our homebound unable to give or those who may be sick on that Sunday morning. Not to mention would the church accept an estate gift that wasn’t put in the plate?
First of all, we must understand that only 10% of the tithe ever made it to the storehouse in the Old Testament. The Israelites took their tithes to the Levites, who then took 10% to the storehouse at the temple for the priests to eat while on duty. Not to mention that already in Malachi God addressed the priests about stealing offerings. (1:13-14). So we must realize this passage is most likely addressed to the priests.
Even still, let’s take that to the New Testament. The early Christians didn’t have a building in which to take their offerings. They were meeting in homes for the most part, and we see in the early church people were bringing their offerings to the disciples to distribute. So were they not giving correctly?
Giving is never simply about the amount, it’s about the motivation for giving and the attitude with which one gives. If I give in Sunday morning worship with the wrong attitude, I might as well not give. If I give online on Tuesday afternoon with the wrong attitude, I might as well not give. Giving is not about the where or when, it’s about the heart.