Passing the Plate suggests that American Christians -- on a whole -- understand tithing and church giving as a “discretionary obligation.” They explain and cite research that supports the intellectual knowledge of giving as part of God’s expectations of Christ-followers, but American Christians also have a strong sense of ownership.
“American Christians are among the wealthiest of their faith in the world today.... And yet, despite all of this, American Christians give away relatively little money to religious and other purposes. A sizeable number...give no money, literally nothiing.”
Seeing giving as a “discretionary obligation” presents two competing perspectives that if the church does not address can, will, and are eroding the funding levels of local churches. That means church leaders have a choice to make: will they continue to be silent on the subjects of money and faith, or will they be able to set aside their own hesitations and be faithful to what the Bible has to say about money?
The greatest threat to church giving is not a disbelieving world but a body of believers who refuse to give freely with an enduring sense and divinely inspired conviction about generosity and stewardship.
What steps are you taking to inspire generosity in your church?