Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Big Attendance—Low Offering

  • Jim Townsley
  • Apr 2, 2018

It would make sense when the church has a big attendance day that the offering would also be big and when the church experiences a low attendance that the offering would be low. However, many times the opposite is true. Often when a big day is planned and the church is filled with excitement the offering for the day is disappointing. On the other hand there may be a day of low attendance and surprisingly the offering is one of the best. This anomaly is more than a coincidence and often it can be expected. How can this be?

It is obvious to me that there is no direct correlation between one special day of inviting visitors and the giving of those present. Most visitors do not understand how to give sacrificially or biblically. In fact most of the giving is done by the core of the church. It has been said, “Ninety present of the work is done by ten percent of the people.” Ninety percent of the giving is probably done by more than ten percent of the congregation but, sadly, often half of the attendees do not give any substantial amount of money. 

Of course the purpose of the church is not to raise money but to win the lost, but someone has to pay the bills and the offerings are important for the function of the church. People’s giving also is a barometer of their walk with God. The Old Testament Jews robbed God by not giving tithes and offerings and as a result God judged them. We know that in these New Testament times God loves cheerful giving and believers should learn how to give generously. 

Stewardship is a long term proposition of teaching and admonishing the church family. Giving does not change quickly but it can over an extended period of time. It is important to recognize that reaching the unsaved has a cost. Paying for the buses and gas costs money. Mailings and tracts cost money. Flyers and brochures cost money. Utilities and repairs cost money. Salaries cost money. Salvation is free but there is a cost to reach someone with the gospel.

A wise young pastor must realize that his main goal is to reach the lost and to go soul-winning. In the future it will become important to teach the new converts about biblical stewardship, but in the beginning the main goal is to reach the lost and not to overemphasize the need for money. If new believers get excited about reaching the lost they will soon realize the importance of supporting the church financially.

Eventually, as the church grows the offerings will grow, but it is a long term process and the results make take several years. If people grow in grace and become strong in the Lord they will become generous givers to the church and to missions. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” -- Luke 12:34  If the offerings are low the main concern should be reaching more of the lost and deepening the spiritual life of the existing members. On a big attendance day don’t be discouraged by a low offering. The primary goal of the church is to win the lost. If you, the preacher, do your job, God will provide the means of support necessary. Stay focused on the main goal of reaching the lost.