So, everything’s going great at your church. Sunday mornings have record attendance. The children’s ministry is thriving. There’s more volunteers than you know what to do with. But despite seeming to have it all together, you just can’t get your giving to grow no matter what you do.

Unfortunately, this is the case for a lot of churches. As a Giving Consultant at SecureGive, I’ve worked with thousands of churches of all shapes and sizes, many of which are struggling to build their generosity. Don’t let this be you.

Here are 6 signs that I frequently see in churches struggling with generosity and how to fix them:

Sign #1: A small amount of people make up for a LARGE percentage of your church’s overall giving.

Let’s be honest. If you lost just a handful of these generous donors, the church would be in a real mess.

The 80/20 rule is real. This rule states that, on average, tithers make up only 10-25% of your entire congregation. However by cultivating a culture of generosity, this percentage WILL grow. But why doesn’t your church have a culture of generosity? Well, that leads me to the next sign…

Sign #2: Giving is only talked about once or twice a year.

Don’t just talk about giving during Christmas or before you start a new capital campaign.

For a church to establish a culture of generosity, giving must be discussed at every service and be an integral part of discipleship.

For a church to establish a culture of generosity, giving must be discussed at every service and be an integral part of discipleship.

The topic of giving is important to Jesus. In fact, 11 out of His 39 parables deal with money. If it is important to Him, it should be important to us- not only on a Sunday morning, but in every area of making disciples.

Sign #3: Pastors are reluctant to talk about giving.

This doesn’t mean pastors or church leaders never talk about the subject. But feel hesitant about leading discussions on generosity or get sweaty palms when someone asks a question about giving.

I get it. No one wants to be seen as the pastor who’s begging for money from the church. Or be misunderstood as trying to raise money for their own personal gain. And you don’t need me to tell you that after a sermon about giving, there’s a wide range of attendees’ opinions. While the negative comments may stand out more, 9 times out of 10 they are the outliers.

Speak confidently on generosity. God has called us to be generous not only as individual Christians but as a Church. And let me tell you, your congregation is truly eager to learn more about this. Along with teaching biblical principles, communicate that your financial blessing as a pastor is not dependent on your church’s giving, but rather on your own stewardship and generosity.

Sign #4: The staff does not tithe at least 10 percent.

If a church’s leadership isn’t giving a biblical tithe, why would the rest of the church? Leading by example is critical for creating a culture of generosity.

Don’t forget to disciple your church staff and leaders in the area of giving. There is no room for “do as I say, not as I do” anywhere in the church. And this is even more true when it comes to giving. Creating a culture of generosity starts with church leadership.

There is no room for “do as I say, not as I do” anywhere in the church. And this is even more true when it comes to giving.

Sign #5: You’re not using the right digital giving platform.

The pandemic transformed digital giving from a luxury into a necessity. What was an additional way to tithe before has now (in some cases) become the only way to tithe as churches were forced to host online services only.

Churches that accept tithing online increase overall donations by 32%, and 60% of those who attend are willing to give to their church digitally.

With the right digital giving platform in place, giving will grow in your church. Not only will you increase your giving, but with the right software features you can save time for your church staff and make reconciling transactions easier for those who handle the books.

Sign #6: There’s no clarity on how tithes and offerings are spent.

Church members may feel reluctant to give if they don’t know what their money is supporting.
Take time throughout the year to highlight how the dollars are being put to work. For example, if your church financially supports a specific organization in the community, show a video about how they’re making a difference.

Share with your congregation how their gifts are impacting lives and growing the kingdom!


Now is a great time to take inventory of how your church communicates the importance of giving generously. Take some time and reflect on areas your church can improve the message of giving and stewardship. The reality is, if we’re not teaching about it from the stage, and discipling our church members in this area, we are robbing them of the blessings from God that come when we are faithful with our finances. There’s no quick fix to cultivating a culture of generosity, but by recognizing the areas we can improve, seeking God, and being faithful to the mission He has called us to, we can lead our churches to live more generously than ever before!