The financial difficulties many churches are currently facing can be traced directly back to the pastors who are leading them. If you’re a pastor of a church that’s struggling financially, you probably don’t want to hear that, but in most cases it’s true. The pastor sets the financial tone for the church.

Some pastors have inherited a church’s financial mess, while other’s created their own. Regardless of how it happened, if you’re the pastor, it falls on you to fix it.

The decisions you make will play a huge role in whether your church succeeds financially or fails.

The good thing is I’m here to help you with those decisions. Let’s start with these five to increase giving in your church.

5 Decisions that Will Increase Giving in Your Church

  1. Learn everything you can about biblical stewardship. There are over 2,000 verses in the Bible on the subject of money, wealth, greed, contentment, etc. In contrast, there are less than 1,000 verses on the subjects of prayer and faith, which leads me to believe that God is really concerned about our finances. Much more concerned than most of us. If you’re looking for a book on the subject, in addition to the Bible, you should pick up The Blessed Life by Robert Morris. You can’t teach what you don’t know.
  2. Get your personal finances under control. Many pastors have a hard time teaching on biblical stewardship because they’re not being good stewards themselves. If you’re not already, you need to create a budget and stick to it. I created a really easy budgeting system that I write about in this post. You also need to start getting out of debt. It’s hard to be generous when you’re in debt. And let me say this, I know most small town pastors aren’t making a lot money. Many struggle to make ends meet, but that can’t be an excuse not to be good stewards.
  3. Commit to tithing. Hopefully, you’re already giving 10% of your income to the church you serve, but if you’re not, you have to start tithing. You can’t expect anyone else to tithe in your church if you’re not doing it yourself. If you have other staff at the church, make sure they’re tithing as well. You’re the leader of the church, so make sure you’re leading in the area of giving.
  4. Teach on biblical stewardship. I’d encourage you to teach at least a series, or four to six sermons, a year on the subject, but don’t make it all about giving to the church. Teach them how to manage the other 90% of their income. Teach them how to get out of debt. Teach them how to create a budget. All the things that, hopefully, you’ve learned by now. If you’re looking for a good example, check out this series that Dave Ramsey did at Life.Church.
  5. Don’t stop at ten. I believe the tithe is just the starting point of generosity. My desire, and hopefully your desire, is to be able to give much more than that back to the Kingdom of God. I want to learn to be an extravagant giver.

Travis Stephens is a husband, father, and executive pastor of a small town church that went big. He has a passion for helping pastors grow themselves and the churches they serve. You can find out more about him and his ministry at