3 Questions Stopping You From Having A Giving and Generosity Conversation With Your Staff
One topic that many leaders have is about staff giving. It’s a great topic to discuss and think through. Far too many churches take for granted that their staff are faithful givers. We’ve been working with churches for over 31 years and, sadly, this is not always the case. Generally, there are reasons why your staff members aren’t giving. Some are legitimate. Some, not so much.
Three of the questions we hear most often are these:
Should I even know if our staff members give? What do I do if a staff member is not giving faithfully? How do we guide our staff in their personal generosity?
Let’s take a look at each of these questions and see where we land.
As a senior leader of the church (senior pastor or executive pastor), should I know if our staff gives?
There is no hard and fast rule on this one. Some would prefer not to know what anyone gives and that includes staff. If we believe giving is one of the marks of maturing in our relationship with Christ and we expect our staff to be leading the way in that regard, then we should expect them to give.
This leads to the question: How much should we expect them to give? Again, that will be a question of theology and policy for each church. For example, if your church expects its people to give a tithe, or 10%, of their income, then that should be the expectation for staff members.
If you decide that giving is expected of your staff, set clear expectations as to what that looks like, both theologically and practically. This should be communicated in the hiring process so people know of the expectation before they accept the job offer.
If you are not currently expecting staff to give, then you will want to set the expectation and allow some time for people to grow into the stated expectation.
What do we do if a staff member is not giving?
If the expectation has been set and the staff member has agreed to meeting the expectation, there should be periodic monitoring. Perhaps quarterly. Take a look at staff giving, and see if there are any opportunities for healthy conversations.
Our giving is a spiritual issue, not a financial issue. Therefore, if a staff member appears to be out of line with their giving, it should not be approached as a compliance issue. It is a pastoral care issue. The approach shouldn’t be: “When can we expect your giving to be in line with our expectations?” It should be more about what the underlying cause might be for the staff member’s giving to be out of line. More often than not, you will discover a spiritual or family issue that opens the door for a pastoral care conversation.
How do we guide our staff in their personal generosity?
One of the best ways to do this is to encourage everyone in the church to have a giving story. For most believers, giving is an area of progressive sanctification. It doesn’t happen all at one time. It happens over time. And having an ongoing giving story chronicles this development.
The senior leader should set the pace by sharing their giving story with staff members from time to time, starting with the core or executive leadership team (or equivalent). Develop them in their giving stories. Make sure all of them are solid in their commitment to biblical stewardship and giving and have them share their giving stories from time to time in staff meetings.
The staff should be well aware of the giving journey of the senior leader and the core leadership team and should be encouraged to have their own giving stories. From there, expand the circle to include the remainder of the staff. Consider having the staff rehearse their giving stories with each other periodically.
The big idea here is to create a culture of giving and generosity among staff members. It is a key mark in the spiritual development of the church staff. And churches that do this have a much better chance of seeing generosity take root in the broader congregation.
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Our team of Generosity Strategist have helped hundreds of churches move the needle on Generosity for over three decades.