Yes, I know churches can expend funds in imperfect ways. Yes, I know all churches need systems of accountability and checks and balances with their finances. Yes, I know some churches need greater transparency with their budgets and spending. But there is absolutely no excuse for making threats with the money you and others have given to the church.
If you have served in church leadership for several years, you have likely heard this statement:
“You know who pays the bills at the church.”
The statement is one of the most insidious, destructive, and ungodly statements a member can make. It says much about the attitude of the member and the group he or she represents. There is nothing good that can come from this statement. Just look at some of the implications of this attitude:
1. It is an attitude of selfishness. The giver with this attitude looks at his or her gifts to the church with a closed fist instead of an open hand. Money is given conditionally, not sacrificially or unconditionally: “It’s my money, not God’s money.”
2. It is an attitude of entitlement. Gifts to the church are more like country club dues. “Since I pay my money, I get my perks and benefits. I get things my way. And if I don’t get things my way, you just watch me stop paying my dues.”
3. It is an attitude of divisiveness. Those who express such statements are already creating schisms in the church. The big givers are in one group, and the lesser givers are in another. It’s us versus them. “Those other people don’t deserve an opinion, because we pay more than they do.”