From Daniel Threlfall’s upcoming Sharefaith interview. Question’s his, answer’s mine.
We’re a financially struggling church. We hardly have enough money to replace our threadbare carpet, let alone give our money away. Do you have any advice?
I would say you don’t have a carpet challenge or a financial challenge. You have a discipleship challenge. I’ve not yet seen a church where comprehensive Christian discipleship was taught where giving was a problem.
Unfortunately, much contemporary discipleship training can’t figure out how to integrate giving into the training process, so they break it out and teach it separately as “stewardship”. So they run into the same problems I mentioned earlier, and they end up struggling financially like other churches.
So the key is to establish, embrace, and implement a comprehensive program of discipleship that grows Christians to fullness in Christ, where their giving is one part of a much wider pattern of personal involvement they have in the things that God cares about.
Financial gifts are nothing more or less than token and pledge that the Christian will be “all in” with their time and their passion and their participation in a given cause.