The church I pastor does not accept “designated” offerings—we actually turn them down. (Excluded from this would be capital campaigns and Meck’s annual Giving to Christ at Christmas offering which are specific campaigns we have imposed on ourselves.)
It’s just not healthy.
It’s certainly not healthy for the church, which simply can’t run on designated offerings. (Do you think anybody wants to designate their funds to the power bill?) But further, it can be a subtle sign of distrust, refusing to follow leadership, or simply play well with others in the sandbox.
Trust the church’s leadership or don’t.
Give to the budget or don’t.
But picking and choosing where your money is spent is divorced from God calling you to be a part of a church, trusting God with that church, and trusting the leadership that is prayerfully leading that church in light of their ordained role.
Financial accountability is important—Meck members vote to approve the church’s annual budget and we have an outside accounting firm conduct an annual audit. So ask for accountability all day long, but using designated offerings to try to direct things, force things, or enable your agenda is not the mark of a healthy church member, much less a healthy church community.
After all, nothing about money and the church should be gimmicky.
Even the giving.
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.