A friend invited me to her church one Sunday and when it was time for offering, we all danced forward and dropped our offerings in the box. After the first offering, we had four other rounds of offerings, one category was to raise money for their new church building. I am sure this is not new to most of us especially from this part of the world. Other offering categories included children offering, Levites offering and women offering.
I was perplexed at why the pastor collected so much from the members, I felt like he was exploiting them. To my greatest surprise, the brethren who sat close to me divided N100 notes into five and split it in different envelopes. I felt like I had been duped because I put N200 in the envelopes making a total of N1000.
I got home that day asking myself why I allowed myself to be exploited that way. You know that feeling when you go to the market to buy something only to get back home and confirm the price and discover the seller cheated you? That was how I felt. Then suddenly some rare question crossed my mind “Who really owns the church- God, the pastor, or the members?”
A lot of us stroll into church every Sunday, worship God and stroll out but we have never bothered to ask how things are run in the church. How do they fuel the generator? How do they make minor repairs in the church? How does the full-time pastor feed his family during the week? You meet the house of God well decorated, but do you bother to know what goes on behind the scenes? Then you stroll out of the church and go to social media to tweet…“My pastor is definitely using my money to build an empire #ScrapTithing”.
I thought of two reasons why that pastor collected five offerings:
- The church might be a new church and things are still hard for them.
- The members are not giving enough and the pastor decided to divide the offering for accountability purposes.
I’m not saying the pastor is right to have collected five offerings but come to think of it, a lot of church members are stingy, they want to get from God but they don’t want to give to support his cause. We forget the principle of “give and it shall be given unto you”.
The brethren who I saw dividing N100 notes into five gave me an insight on what the majority of the members likely did. These same church members will go out and say “my pastor is duping me”. Some of you might want to argue that brethren give what they can afford but we all know the truth here. Some brethren are unapologetic leeches who want to enjoy feeding off the goodness of the church without any sympathy of giving.
We all understand that Christ is the head of the church but what is the head without the body? As members, we are responsible for the church growth as well as the pastor. Apart from giving our widow’s mite, we should be able to give a substantial amount that will be used to develop the church.
Like we often say “I am going to my church” instead of “I am going to my pastor’s church”, let’s act on it. Begin to take responsibility and contribute your own quota. I’m not leaving the pastors out of this. Pastors must be accountable for every dime they get. The lack of transparency of some pastors is what gives people who know nothing to blab. It is wrong to turn the church into a money-making factory where members are sucked off all they have. Let’s be guided.