I was recently asked about the question, “Where does a pastor’s salary come from?” I was a bit surprised by the question, but I answered that it comes through the tithes and offerings of the people. I explained that churches budget based on how much income they receive and designate it to each line item. So much goes to children’s ministry, so much to youth ministry, so much to daily operations of the church such as electricity, water, etc. The attitude in the room was almost that of “I can’t believe my money would go to the preacher.” As a pastor of a small church plant, I don’t make any money off the church and I still give. First and foremost, I give to the Lord. Second, I know that the ministry of Overcomers Church cannot function without tithes and offerings.
Many of us are recipients of church’s ministries. We attend Easter egg hunts, worship services, Vacation Bible Schools, and maybe even receive financial assistance in dire times. That money had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is from people who believed enough in the mission of the church to financially give to that ministry. They may have given a full 10 percent or just a few dollars, but they gave because they knew it would meet a need.
The next time we take our children to a church because of what their children’s or youth ministry offers, we should consider that someone’s financial sacrifice made it possible. Some say they cannot afford to give. Set a goal. Decide that you will give up your favorite coffee drink for a day and give that back to the Lord. He gave you His money anyway.
I know that many are leery of giving to churches because of the ones who have misappropriated funds. Many ministries across the country don’t waste God’s money on lavish things like $54 million jets. They give back to the community.
I hope this is a helpful post about how God uses what you give back to Him to invest in the spiritual condition of others. If you are uncomfortable with a ministry that doesn’t streamline and has a lot of overhead costs that aren’t going anywhere but to fancy buildings rather than the spread of the gospel, find somewhere that is investing in people rather than possessions. They do exist. Most importantly, remember that you are giving to the Lord and He honors that alone. It is an act of worship, so trust that He will use what you return to Him.