Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who are we really tithing to?

While at the conference in Orlando last week I heard a pretty sobering statistics. 90% of money used in the average church is used for administration costs. Administration costs include payment of and on the building, staff, and office supplies.
Let us think about this for a minute. 90% of money tithed is used to maintain what is currently happening in the American church. If we were being greatly successful than this wouldn’t be a bad thing, but is this where the church in America is at? Are we seeing great successes and seeing things change? Maybe individual churches but as a whole denominations have been seeing the decrease in both attendance and giving go steadily down. Overall the church in America is marinating at best.
If the church was a company that we were going to invest in would it be a smart investment? How can a church be successful? If the definition is the passage is in Acts 2 then probably not. One of the important aspects of this passage it says that more were added to their numbers daily. How many churches are growing to their numbers daily? I think if the church had a growth than a 100 people from last year to this it would be extraordinary.
Another aspect of the Acts 2 church was that no one had need. If the church is successful what are the needy around us saying about us? There is something I have wanted to say since reading Freakonimcs but I am not that political but I am going to say it anyways. If the church is not going to go out of its way and help the poor and needy around vote democratic because at least the government will help the people out.
Are the changes we make in the church and the money that is spent really going to help add to the numbers of the people in the church and helping the poor? If it is just maintaining I think we may be in some trouble.
I have thought about this a lot and the best analogy I have heard used is that a church service is like a business meeting where we get motivated, informed, and equipped to do our work the rest of the week. This is a very important part of our faith and week. Is this all the church is good for? Churches spend so much time and money on the business meeting that we don’t spend any time on the business itself.
I am saddened when I see the needs all around us, both the spiritual and the physical. I believe that the church is the change agent for God to use on the earth.Would we give to a mission organization that used 90% of its money for administration?

1 comment:

Shane Vander Hart said...

Oh how we love our buildings... It is sad that people look to government when the Church should be there to help out.

Katrina showed us that the Church does a far, far better job that what the government can do. It's sad that it takes a disater like that to wake us up. We need to be showing compassion like that every day.

I am also frustrated when I go visit a church for the ministry I serve and find out their missions budget goes entirely oversees, but yet they are neglecting Samaria right next door.