I often hear pastors say, “I don’t want to know how much people give. I want to treat everyone the same.”
The pastor who says that is not much of a pastor.
Look, I know who is having an affair in the choir. I know who is going to be arrested and charged tomorrow morning for embezzlement. I know who has been abusive to a spouse. I am equally the pastor of all. What kind of a low-life pastor would know these things, but then treat the big donor more special than the lower level donor.
The reality is, a pastor can pretty much guess with 90% accuracy who gives a lot and who gives a little.
So why should the pastor know?
Because it is the pastor’s job to know the spiritual health of the church members.
Several years ago, Jane Doe became the chair of the Stewardship Committee. The stewardship program that year was awful. I was later told by the financial secretary that Jane Doe had never pledged and had never given more than $50 per year. Here was a lady who, with her husband, owned a house in Florida and one in Minnesota. They didn’t live in either, but preferred to live on their yacht. YES, I said yacht.
So why in the world would a church in its right mind put someone like that in charge of stewardship? Would we put someone who had a zero prayer life in charge of the Wednesday Prayer Service? Would we put someone in charge of the nursery without a background check? And who is getting on our Sessions? Spiritual leaders, or people who won’t say “no?”
Yep, I think it is time for us as pastors to know how much our members are giving.