Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, former newspaper columnist, licensed/ordained minister, and founder of two outreach ministries.
If the song BIG SPENDER comes to mind, while you are in church maybe God is trying to tell you something. If you notice that those who give large sums of money are often being highlighted consider James 2:3 "and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” (NKJ). There are pastors who salivate at the sight of congregants they believe can give big to the church. I have attended services where preachers actually call out the names of those who have given a large sum of money as if their gift means more than that of the person who gave less. I've also seen big spenders given front row seats and also key ministry positions. Jesus appreciated the widow who only had 2 mites to give (Mark 12:41–44, Luke 21:1–4) and never complimented those who were able to give much more.
I recall a pastor emphasizing a pro football player who attended the church of a colleague and joking about the large tithe this man was giving Sadly this is not an isolated incident as certain mega-church preachers brag on the famous individuals who attend their services. Consider please the words to the song Big Spender.
The minute you walked in the joint
I could see you were a man of distinction
A real big spender
Good lookin' so refined
Say, wouldn't you like to know what's goin' on in my mind?
So let me get right to the point
I don't pop my cork for every man I see
Hey big spender,
Spend a little time with me.
Preachers who are hung up on money latch onto those who can give large donations. They often mention them by name and announce the amount they gave during services. I recall a pastor who pushed tithing in practically every service. One Sunday he told the congregation that many adults in the church were not giving 10 % and then he named a 3-year-old boy whose mother was giving tithes for him and said that he was impressed. In my opinion, this was a subtle method to shame the adults into tithing. I also know of people whose feelings were hurt because they gave the best they could and were made to feel as if their gift did not count because the pastor emphasized those who gave big.
The dollar amount that anyone gives in an offering should be between that person and God. No one should be put on blast because they were not able to give big or because they did. Calling out big spenders and sharing the amount they gave puts pressure on those who would like to do more but their budgets will not allow them to. If you are hearing the subliminal messages of "Hey big spender, spend a little time with me" please do not be offended, and neither should you feel compelled to give more so that your name and donation amount might be shared with the congregation. In Matthew 6:4 Jesus said to give in secret and II Corinthians 9:7 sums it all up. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. If you are giving so your name can be called, you can stand in a certain giving line, to keep up with others, or impress your pastor these are wrong motives. Giving a certain amount because it's being demanded or you are told you will lose a position if you don't is giving under compulsion. You cannot truly be a cheerful giver in such circumstances. Please keep these things in mind the next time you notice a big spender being stroked and complimented from the pulpit.
I was a member of a church where a specific preacher came several times a year and raised extra money for the pastor.He would say that God wanted 10 people to give $1,000 each, 20 people to give $500 and he would continue until he asked for the change in your pocketbook. I was told by a church member who worked for Check into Cash that I would be surprised at the number of congregants who came in borrowing money around the time this preacher was coming so they could give $500 or $1,000. If you attend a more traditional church you probably cannot believe that adults would be so gullible but they are. I was visiting a different church where the church clerk announced that a member had given a special offering and the pastor yelled to the clerk and congregation that the donation was $1,000. In another church, the pastor would insinuate that the big spenders had more blessings from the Lord, Matthew 6:3 NIV tells us But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. There are two revelations in this scripture. Christ emphasized giving to the poor and not announcing it. Keep this in mind when you encounter pastors who announce the names of big givers and the amount they gave.
Don't play with God
I visited a church where the guest speaker berated the congregation by saying everyone should have been standing in the $100.00 line. He added that anyone who did not give would have something bad happen when they left the service. Something bad did happen but not to those in attendance. That preacher later died after an auto accident which told me his words were not from the Lord and came back on him. This shows that you don't lie in the Name of the Almighty to obtain money.
The heart of the matter
Just because someone is a big spender regarding giving to the church does not indicate that he or she has made Christ their Lord and Savior. It simply validates that this person has a larger amount at his or her disposal than the average church member. There are preachers who say giving is part of worship and the more money you give the more you must love the Lord but this is not biblical You can love the Lord and serve Him with all your might making $12.00 an hour. You could also be giving thousands each month and not have a personal relationship with Christ. It's true that you can love the Lord and also have lots of money to give but: Jesus said the following in Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. The fact that He began the sentence with "Again" indicates that Jesus had emphasized this point before. Keep your heart right before him and give what you have decided and don't be manipulated by preachers who want to spend time with big spenders.
This hub addresses an issue that is running rampant through the church which is praising big spenders in order to manipulate others into giving more. The fact that Christ was impressed with the widows mite speaks volumes What you have just read is for informational and educational purposes only. This is not aimed at any specific minister or ministry but if you notice the shoe is fitting, seek the Holy Spirit on what you should do.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Cheryl E Preston
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on July 14, 2021:
Thank you Pamela I feel compelled to share the truth.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 14, 2021:
I have heard preachers like that also. You have made several good points. I never liked a preacher saying certain number of people will be giving a $100, or whatever amount. I like the points you made from the Bible about a cheerful giver, Cheryl.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on July 13, 2021:
Peggy I hate that I have to even address such issues but I feel led to warn people what they are dealing with for those who will pay attention. Thank you for reading.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2021:
You have made some excellent points, Cheryl. Actions like that can also have the effect of driving people away from the church.