How to Increase Contributions
The affluent prosperity that prevails in American homes is also evident to a considerable degree in church contributions. Many, many congregations axe giving very large amounts. An average of three dollars per person per Sunday is quite common, I believe. This includes men, women and children present.
Yet there are many Christians who do not give liberally. Many congregations are not doing their part to help carry the gospel to the whole world because their contributions are too low.
How can these contributions be increased scripturally? Of course the simple answer is that each Christian must give more. Then, aside from teaching them what the New Testament says about giving, what else can we do to motivate larger contributions? I submit three suggestions that will surely help in many places:
1. Keep the brethren informed. I have been in meetings in many places where the members tell me, "We don't know what the money is used for." Sometimes they say they have had no report from the treasurer or the elders for months. And people just will not give much into such a treasury. A careful and understandable report should be made at least once a month to the whole church. The people have a right to know what the money is used for and why they should give more and more. Personally, I would not give regularly and liberally into a treasury if the congregation was not informed regarding the expenditures.
2. Spend the money. It is not the work of the church to accumulate funds, but rather to use them. When a big bank account accumulates for an unspecified use, people will have no incentive to give into that treasury. We must remember that the work of the church is not saving money but saving souls (I Tim. 3:15). There are thousands of dollars lying in church bank accounts that ought to be spent in support of the work of sowing the good seed of the kingdom. And when it is spent, the brethren will give more to replace it.
3. Spend it for souls. A few years ago you could raise money quite quickly and easily by asking for a new carpet for the aisle or for the rostrum. But all over America today many brethren have gained a sense of urgency regarding saving the lost. They want to see the treasury used for support of the truth. Preachers and elders needs to recognize this healthy trend in the minds of brethren. By careful cultivation of such scriptural ideals, the churches can soon be doing a great deal more than ever before for the spread of truth.
If the contributions are low where you worship, then present a fervent, sincere appeal for support of some specific gospel preacher in a destitute field. The brethren will not fail. They will respond beyond your expectations. Keep before the church the spiritual objectives that will involve every Christian in world evangelism. Then brethren will give "once and again" just like the people of Philippi did (Phil. 4:16).
If the treasurer will do a good job of reporting the use of funds, if the elders will spend the funds freely and wisely, and if the preacher will keep the high ideal of giving for the purpose of saving souls before the people, contributions will increase, God will be pleased and great work can be accomplished. Try it.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XI: 11, p. 22