Don't Say This…

I’m not sure where this statement came from, but many churches have said it.  I think our church still says this regularly… but it’s something that Casey Graham says you should NOT say this weekend or ever… because it’s simply not true:

If this is your first time here, we don’t want you to give.

Casey says:  Let EVERYONE in attendance know that the offering is a time for people to support the mission and vision of your church.

via Do NOT Say This In Church This Weekend.

What do you think?



  • Lynn B July 7, 2011 Reply

    The first time I heard it regularly was at Willow Creek Community Church over 25 years ago. They always followed it up with “…because you are our guest.”

  • Todd Rhoades July 7, 2011 Reply

    Maybe that’s where it came from. Do you think that’s a good thing to say or not, Lynn?

  • Pastor_Shane July 7, 2011 Reply

    we simply have a small box at the back of the church ~ if God leads someone to give ~ then that is between them and God. Who am I to suggest who God is moving to give and who God isn’t moving? We have a board on the wall that advises people on what our budget is and where we are at in meeting our budget ~ and since God has been gracious in this area ~ it also frees up “guests” from feeling obligated to give ~ if they give ~ it is because God is moving them to give.

  • steve miller July 7, 2011 Reply

    I think it is all in the wording. I would say, “If this is your first time do not feel compelled to give. You are our guest.”

    Give them the option, but even for Christians, we are to give out of a thankful heart not guilt.

    This is so much better than one well known mega church I visited where the pastor instructed the audience, “If this is your first time here and don’t know what to give you are to give at least 10% of your gross, not your net.” Then we were instructed to wave our offering over our heads and turn to the person next to us, look at their money, and say, “Is that all you are going to give? Don’t you trust God more than that?” We never went back.

    • paul July 25, 2011 Reply

      Oh my.

  • Andrew Chapman July 7, 2011 Reply

    I wonder if the days of passing offering plates should be over. Shane’s comment above about having a drop box is a good idea for folks with cash or checks. And like many people at my church, I do my giving online. I just feel that if I were a non-Christian visitor, seeing money plates passed around would be a turn off — even if they told me not to give.

  • Jan July 8, 2011 Reply

    We have a box in back too. We do say, God doesn’t want your money. He wants your heart and life and then he calls those in the family to give. If you aren’t in the family and want to give anyway, we won’t say no. (laugh) and we’ll say thanks. But that’s not why we are here.

  • Pat Pope July 11, 2011 Reply

    I disagree and remember the first time I heard that at my last church. In my opinion, you deprive a person of the gift of giving. I know that people who support this are probably thinking of those who are new to church and probably trying to remove barriers to faith, but for those of us who are not new to church, I want to be able to bless the ministry where I’m sitting, even if it’s just for one Sunday and particularly if I believe in the work that they’re doing. I say just take up the offering and don’t call undue attention to it. Those who want to give will and those who don’t, won’t. Granted there will be some who feel guilty and give out of that sense, but if anything is said about the offering it’s that we should not give under compulsion, but cheerfully.

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  • paul July 25, 2011 Reply

    We say, “If you are a guest with us today, we want you to know that this part of the service is not necessarily for you. It’s for those of us who are a part of this community and are excited about what God is doing, but as our guest, we don’t want you to feel pressured to give.”

    And yes, my understanding is that Willow was the first to use this kind of line.

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