Are Churches Generous?

We all probably agree that churches are focused on loving, serving, and going to all nations, but are they generous? Generosity comes in many forms and can be summarized as time, talent, and treasure. As church leaders, can we teach about giving and generosity without modeling it for those in our care? The Bible clearly states that we are to care for the least of these. Does that only apply to us as individuals or to the church as well?

When the topic of generosity and the church comes to mind, we all immediately consider whether the congregation is generous toward the church. The Bible teaches that tithing is a core principle of our faith walk. Once the church receives the tithe, what then? Should the church be giving 10% as well?

Most churches, particularly growing churches, do not have a large store of excess cash. As churches grow, staffing the critical ministries of the church becomes paramount. There are also facilities to build and equip, not to mention the audio/visual equipment that allows Sunday worship to take place. But Matthew 6:12 says to individuals and the church, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

According to a report by The State of Global Giving by The Giving Institute, Americans gave approximately $35.6 billion to religious organizations in 2019. Of those donations, Lifeway Research reports that the average church allocates 13% of its budget towards missions. That is excellent news for the health of the church and the motivation for its givers. The data shows that churches are generous!

To maintain consistent giving, it’s critical for congregations to see how tithing is used. When a church intentionally blesses the poor and vulnerable, its people see the Gospel lived out in real time. A church being generous with its money models to us, as individuals, the receiving of the Holy Spirit and sharing it with those we meet. My church, Discovery Church in Hickory, NC, is passionate about supporting various local and international missions that align with our values and goals as a community. One of the missions that we are particularly excited to support is the Hands & Feet Project. Discovery first supported this mission in 2010, and that involvement led to me serving as a Board Member.

The Hands & Feet Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to be the hands and feet of Christ fighting for the cause of vulnerable children, their families, and their communities. They care for the vulnerable through support services, job creation, and providing family-style homes and caregivers for children in crisis. The organization was founded by the popular Christian rock band Audio Adrenaline, who was moved to action after witnessing the devastating effects of poverty and neglect in Haiti.

As a church community, we believe it is essential to support organizations like Hands & Feet Project, which make a tangible difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. My church supports the organization through various fundraising efforts, and we are proud to see our contributions impact those that need it most.

If you want to learn more about Hands & Feet Project and how you can get involved, I encourage you to contact me at Together, we can make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable and help to build a brighter future for Haiti.

Dean Cline
President, Hands & Feet Project Board of Directors