If you’d* all give money to your church, pastors and others on staff there wouldn’t need to be bi-vocational to feed their family.
9% of North Americans who classify themselves as “born again” tithed in 2004. We spend more as a culture on weight-loss programs or pet food than we give to the church. (source)
If the other 91% of you would give just 10%–imagine the amount of money that would be. You could hire some more full time workers, send more missionaries fully-funded into the field, and fully support the needy in your community. If American Christians would just give 10%, we could end world hunger next year.
By the way, 10% is probably a bare minimum by biblical standards for a Christian to give, since the tithe in the Old Testament was replaced by simple encouragements like “give generously” or “give hilariously” in the New Testament. It is kind of expected that Christians would give, since they have been given so much, by Jesus. We don’t give to earn God’s favor, but as a result of receiving it.
So give. Your pastor deserves to be compensated for his work. If he takes the “pastoral” name off of his counseling duties, they are worth $90 an hour in the marketplace. And he’s willing to do it for free. Don’t let him. Pay your pastors well.
I heard a pastor recently say “If you don’t think this is the best church around here, by all means go to the other one. But if you do, act like it, and invite a friend.” I’d say that also carries over to the financial support of your church. You aren’t acting like it is your church when you aren’t generously financially supporting it.
*after encouragement from my wife, who is nicer than me, I’d like to add that if you give, then the above “you” is not referring to you, and I don’t mean to offend you. The only people that should be offended by this post are the ones not giving. I meant to offend them. For their own good.