Not all church givers are created equal. Like almost everything else, givers and how they give land on a spectrum, and if you can help people identify their current level of giving, you can challenge them to move to the next level in their giving. Here are the five levels of givers in your church:
1. Takers – Takers are the bottom level of givers because they don’t give anything. In fact, they take. They enjoy the benefits of the modern church experience, the utilize the child care, sit in the comfortable seats, enjoy air conditioned and heated meeting spaces and listen to music amplified by thousands of dollars of sound equipment. In spite of all this, they don’t give back. It’s where most people start, but it’s not where they need to finish.
2. Tippers – Tippers are those who give occasionally, having to be prompted by an offering plate being passed or a plea come from the stage. When prompted, tippers do just that: they tip. They dig around in their purse or wallet for the lowest bill they have, not enough to impact themselves financially, just enough to keep up appearances and maintain the facade that they’re truly giving back. Tippers will drop $5 in the plate on a Sunday and then tip their waitress four times that at lunch. When you spend more on lattes than you do on God, you’re a Tipper.
3. Trusters – Trusters are a much smaller percentage of the giving spectrum because most people don’t even realize this is an option, but Trusters are those that give a percentage of their income, just not 10%. It’s a baby step to tithing the full 10%. If you’re not at the place where you can trust God with 10% of your income, can you trust Him with 2%? Can you trust Him with 5%? Trusters are those who have started to get serious about giving and designate a specific portion of their income to give back and do so on a regular basis.
4. Threshold Givers – Threshold givers are those that trust God with the full first 10% of their income, tithing in the way affirmed by Jesus himself (Matthew 23:23). This level is called threshold giving because something happens when we start trusting God at the full 10%. I can attest from personal experience again and again that God’s faithfulness shows up in real and tangible ways when we trust God and give back with the full tithe.
5. Transformational Givers – This last level is not for everyone. Some Christians have been given the spiritual gift of giving, where their ability to generate wealth and invest it in the Kingdom is a strategically given gifting by God Himself. Others are at a place in their life stage or financial status where they can trust God with more than 10%. Some have been tithing for so long that they decide to bump up their giving to 12%, 15%, etc.