Have you ever wondered why pastors seem so concerned about offerings and attendance? If you are close to your pastor, you may have heard him ask after a service about the offering or attendance. Maybe you thought him unspiritual for doing so. After all, shouldn’t he be more concerned with the presence of God in the service or whether the sermon was anointed?
Most good pastors are very interested in offerings and attendance, and for good reason. The truth is there is no better objective criteria for gaging the health of a local church than whether it’s people are consistently showing up and giving.
To be sure, there are more important things in a Christian’s life, like whether one is cultivating influence with non-Christians and sharing the gospel, the quality of one’s relationship with Jesus and whether one is loving others, but none of those things are easily measurable, and so we are left with counting nickels and noses.
But nickel and noses are not so bad a measuring stick.
Let’s face it: If someone has a good, growing relationship with Jesus, they will want to go to church. It’s not like work where people show up so they won’t get fired. Church attendance is purely voluntary. So, if someone is there, it’s a good indication of their spiritual health, not conclusive for sure, but a good sign.
Tithing and giving are fundamental to the Christian life. If one is unwilling to part with a tithe out of obedience to Jesus, it’s a good indication Jesus is not No. 1 in their life. Spiritually healthy people give; selfish people keep. There is a reason Jesus spoke about money and possessions more than any other subject except the kingdom of God. How one handles money and possessions is one of the best indications of their character.
Until the TSA comes up with a scanner that can see the human heart, rather than one’s junk, the local church is left with counting nickels and noses, but nickels and noses are not so bad a barometer. GS