Peter Drucker once said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” Could it be that shrinking church offerings are a silent, but significant, message from many congregations that we are failing to hear or see? Declining contributions can be a sign of significant issues, such as:
- Sign #1: Failure to adequately teach members from the Word of God on how to grow as stewards in our generosity.
- Sign #2: Poor economic circumstances, which can create tension for many about what to give away and what to keep.
- Sign #3: Mismanagement of funds by some well-known nonprofits, which can discourage gift-giving.
Read the following story by Richard Armstrong, then close your eyes to plant the picture he paints firmly in your mind:
“When fog prevents a small-boat sailor from seeing the buoy marking the course he wants, he turns his boat rapidly in small circles, knowing that the waves he makes will rock the buoy in the vicinity. Then he stops, listens and repeats the procedure until he hears the buoy clang. By making waves, he finds where his course lies … Often the price of finding these guides is a willingness to take a few risks, to ‘make a few waves.’ A boat that stays in the harbor never encounters dangers—but it also never gets anywhere.”
Do you have the picture in your mind? Because it relates to our stewardship dilemma. There’s a fog setting in on many congregations regarding generous giving. It’s time to take the proper turns, hear the warning signs and make a few waves among our members. Then we can adjust as needed to establish growth and maturity in the generosity of believers.