Knowing What People Give
One pastor's thoughts on when to check church donor records.
Knowing What People Give

Some ministers believe they should know exactly how much various individuals give to the church. They believe the checkbook is a barometer of a person's spirituality, and knowing a person's giving pattern is necessary for proper pastoral care. Other pastors don't want to know what their people give; they feel it's a private matter between the person and the Lord.

I come down in the middle on this issue. I do not need to know what everybody gives to the church. I assume they're all good givers until I have reason to believe otherwise. So I prefer not to know.

Except in certain instances. When I am looking for a trustee or someone to chair a building-fund drive, I will examine what the candidate has contributed to the church. If I am choosing the missions committee chairperson, I investigate how he or she donates to missions. I cannot expect people to follow someone who is not a giver, and I cannot expect people to give if the leaders of a giving program do not give, themselves.

So, I will examine people's giving, but only on rare occasions. It's like a reference, a character check. And even in these situations, I'm not after specific amounts. I just want to know if the person gives more than a token amount.

Related Articles:

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


If you found this article helpful, subscribe to for access to more articles like this one.

Become a Church Law & Tax Member



Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.

12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers

12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers Member access only

Essential knowledge to ensure legal and financial clarity and integrity in ministry.
Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy

Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy Member access only

Learn why it is essential your church develop a risk management strategy and how to implement the strategy in your church.