I was in a management team meeting for our daughter church Potters Hands last week and we were talking about financial difficulty and stewardship preaching/teaching. Maybe I’m odd (OK, yes…I’m odd) but I enjoy preaching on stewardship. I think partly it is because I have seen time and time again the benefits that come to people who take seriously the challenge to be faithful stewards. I want my people to be blessed, and I see God blessing when I/they give faithfully.
Anyway…as we talked about how to get this toddler church to be more stable in their giving, the mention was made that George Barna had listed five barriers to giving. A quick Google search came up with his list. I scanned my copy of "How to Increase Giving in Your Church" by Barna and didn’t find this list, so I don’t know where it comes from originally. But I think they are helpful…and I have seen them apply to our own church.
1. Some people lack the motivation to give away their hard-earned money because the church has failed to provide a compelling vision for how the money will make a difference in the world. These are donors who can find other uses for their money and are not excited about simply handing money over to a church.
2. Those who see their giving as leverage on the future. They withhold money from the church because they do not see a sufficient return on their investment.
3. People who do not realize the church needs their money to be effective. Their church has done an inadequate job of asking for money, so people remain oblivious to the church’s expectations and potential.
4. Those who are ignorant of what the Bible teaches about our responsibility to apply God’s resources in ways that affect lives.
5. Those who are just selfish. They figure they worked hard for their money and it’s theirs to use as they please. Their priorities revolve around their personal needs and desires."