The Problem of Celebrating Not Pledging

I am experiencing a problem. I don’t necessarily enjoy being on Facebook, but it does keep me connected. I am part of several denominational Facebook communities where pastors can share questions and get support. I normally just skim my way through, but the stewardship posts normally catch my attention, and the problem is they often get my blood pressure going.

The other night, someone posted that they were so excited that the congregation decided not to pledge this year! I was furious and perplexed.

Studies show that those who pledge give many times more than those who don’t. The same people who complain about pledging are willing to get married and take out mortgages—both forms of pledging. By not pledging, we create a problem by proclaiming that something is not important.

If we believe what Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, your heart will follow,” then for our organizations to get the hearts of our members, they have to be investing their treasure in them. The average donor gives less than 3 percent of their income to the church. The median member gives 0.9 percent. Therefore, the majority of our members are not investing their treasures in our organizations or churches.

We need to expect more of our constituency, not less. It is about their hearts. I’m not interested in not having the heart of my people in my organization, therefore I am not willing to let people not pledge. Our organizations deserve our best. If they don’t, then we need new leadership in our organizations.