It’s time. The alarm is going off. Do you hear it? It’s time to wake up. It’s time someone told you what’s happening. We have to do something.
You only have so many days left on this earth. You could be gone today or tomorrow or some distant time in the future. Are you prepared? Have you done everything you need to do? Will you leave this world better than you found it? Will you leave your church, who helped build your faith, in a good place?
This is a wake up call about giving and problems in our local churches. If it’s happening in mine, it’s probably happening in yours as well.
What will our world be like if our churches close because of a lack of pastors, declining attendance and indifference to giving? What will happen to our gathering spaces and the “church”, the body of Christ, as we know it? It’s happening little by little, bit by bit.
Not only is there a shortage of Catholic priests in my area, but church attendance is in decline. So is the amount of money people are giving. At our parish, we are $50k+ behind in our expected giving amount for the year. We are not alone, I’m sure. Now, yes, we did just come off a year of COVID, where attendance was limited, but, attendance and giving had been down even before that.
A Few Statistics
In my area, the archdiocese is regrouping. Some churches will be closing and we’ll begin sharing pastors in the next couple of years. Here are a few area statistics on giving from a hired research consultant:
-58.4% of all registered households gave to the parish and/or Archdiocese in 2019.
The average amount given was $1,253 and the median income was $82,890.
Combined, they contributed approximately 1.5% of their income to giving.
-19.4% of all registered households accounted for approximately 80% of all giving in 2019.
-The average amount given was $3,019 and the median income was $84,942.
*Combined, they contributed approximately 3.6% of their income to giving.
And this, my friends, is in where our sin lies. We’re not being generous. We aren’t tithing, so how can we not expect to see problems in other areas as well?
Support Your Local Church
The Bible talks about the tithe and giving. Malachi 3:9-10 (ESV) reads, “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” A tithe is one tenth of all you’ve been given. That’s 10%, not 3.6%. Are you at 10%? I know I’m not. I can do better. Are we teaching our children about giving? They need to know this discipline.
Pastors have enough to worry about, let alone having to ask congregations for money to keep up the buildings and pay staff wages. My pastor says he is responsible for every soul in the county where we live. No pressure there. -Responsible for souls. Shouldn’t we be responsible, too?
The Generosity of God
When I think about how generous God is, I am in awe. He is over the top generous. Think about a flower, a marigold. When that flower fades and dies, there are hundreds of seeds left behind that will produce more flowers. Not just flowers, but what about seeds of trees and fruit, everything that God creates? He is more than generous. We are called to be like Him, so how can we not be generous? Many of us are generous when it comes to ourselves. We all have so much stuff.
This week, think about how generous you could be. Start giving if you don’t already or increase giving to church, even if it’s just $5. Many places have online giving which helps you be a consistent giver. And don’t stop there. Volunteer your time and use your talents. Help your church grow and thrive! Watch how generous God will be with you and be ready for the blessings he will bestow.
Money is always a touchy subject. But you can’t take it with you when you go and who better to benefit from it than your church, who is helping others get to their final destination-heaven.