As reported by the Baptist Press 11/18/09, according to Ronnie Floyd one of the underlying problems in the SBC is that people aren't tithing:
"God tells individuals to tithe and honor Him with the first tenth and with offerings, but studies show the average evangelical gives 2.4 percent to all charities. How are we going to change the world with the Gospel when 98 cents of every dollar given stays in the churches and 98 cents of every dollar earned stays in the pocket of the member?" - Ronnie Floyd, 11/18/09
Another pastor, a prominent one at that, a mega church pastor, multi-campus pastor, who believes that the problem is THE SHEEP....gosh darn it, how can you expect us to reach the lost when you stupid sheep are keeping 98% of your income!! And as the article points out, Floyd's church contributes about 2.2% of their budget to the CP, so not sure what his point is about money staying in the churches.
Fact is, what churches have ALWAYS gotten, on average, for decades, is between 2 and 3 percent from their church members. Maybe the problem is not the percentage, since that hasn't changed, but its what church leaders have been doing with the dollars given. Big buildings, church marketing consultants, NAMB president personal coaches, large mega church pastor salaries and bennies, jobs for wife and family members, airfare to their speaking gigs, and on and on. Maybe, just maybe, the problem isn't with the sheep who have been consistently giving 2-3% for a hundred years, but its with the convention leaders who are mostly mega church pastors or close friends with megas who are prioritizing the spending and have build the denominational structure that demands more and more money.
I just don't believe their logic that if they got more money they would do more ministry. Mac Brunson of FBC Jax used this same logic last year in his "giving units" sermon, that if his 5000 "giving units" who earn on average $50,000 annually would just obey God and tithe, they could get $25 million instead of having to get by on just $15 million. But what these guys don't realize is that church people are on to them. They are so sick and tired of hearing their pastors and staff members, especially in the mega churches, bellyache about money. Parishioners are sick of hearing just how great their church's ministry COULD be, if everyone would stop being so stingy. And at the same time they see their megachurch pastors like Mac Brunson put family on staff and advertise on their church's website to entice people to pay $5000 and higher to join them on a luxury riverboat to "Cruise Down the Danube".
What if we told guys like Ronnie Floyd: "Hey Ronnie, I would give more money to my church, but you don't understand. My boss is only giving me a fraction of what he should. Believe me, I could do MUCH MORE for the Lord in my church if I could only get more money, the right and fair amount, from my place of employment". Ronnie would tell us that we perhaps should spend less, and that the problem is not with the amount of the income, but that its more our spending priorities. Amen! So maybe they should listen to their own advice.
So we tell you, Ronnie and Johnnie and Mac: please, you are getting what you are getting, stop bellyaching about what you COULD do if you only had more money, stop using the tithe doctrine as a fund raising, marketing gimmick to raise revenue, and make due with what you are getting. Instead of trying to extract a higher percentage, concentrate more on preaching the gospel, getting people saved, less on your book deals and river cruises and seminars, and let the Lord lead your new converts to give their 2.4% or whatever they purpose in their heart to give.
And please, this Sunday, thank your church members for being so generous with their 2.4%.