Declaring Offering Amounts
If you have been in the church for any length of time like I have, especially in certain segments or circles, like Word of Faith or Prosperity, you have seen Preachers declaring for example something like this: "God shows me there are 50 people here tonight that are going to give $100 in the offering...who is the first? Come get your special envelope."
Can I just be honest? This usually turns my stomach and makes me want to get up and walk out the door. I am not saying that God won't tell a Preacher that...but why do we have the need to declare it? Couldn't God tell the Preacher that, and if it was truly God, that would come in, in the offering whether they declared it or not?
I know I am treading on "Sacred Pentecostal, Charismatic, Word of Faith, Prosperity Ground". Let me submit to you that this practice 9 times out of 10 is designed to get folks to give an amount that as opposed to being what "They Have Purposed In Their Hearts To Give", but to give "What The Preacher Has Purposed In Their Heart For Folks To Give."
Again, can I be Honest? This is Manipulation...Pure and Simple! Out of the dozens of times, I have been in meetings where this was done...I can honestly say that less than a handful of them have borne witness in my spirit. In fact, in all my years in the Kingdom, which is 50 +, I have only had God 1 time override what I had purposed in my heart to do.
I remember years ago a fellow Alumnus of Rhema, which is the Bible School that I graduated from, came as a traveling Minister to a church that I served as an Elder and Director of Adult Education in for 10 years. This Minister began to teach his personal convictions and practices regarding giving as Bible Doctrine. He drove up the offerings to the point that he received more $ in 3 days than the church normally received in an entire month.
I do not begrudge a Servant of God a good offering in the least, but manipulating God's people is WRONG! I wrote this Minister after his visit, not as an Elder of the church, but as a fellow Alumnus of Rhema. In my letter, I advised him that his practice was unbiblical as people were now giving under compulsion and as he purposed in his heart as opposed to how they purposed in their own heart. Needless to say, I never received a response.
Folks, if God tells you that a certain amount is coming in...it will come in whether you say anything or not. I remember years ago when my Mom & Dad went to live on the foreign field in Trinidad for 3 years. We needed to raise their monthly support as they could not earn a salary in Trinidad. God told my Mom and I that a Particular Ministry was going to support them at a certain dollar amount every month, which they did for all 3 years that they lived in Trinidad, and we never said a word to the ministry, or anyone else.
My Brothers and Sisters, WE MUST DO BETTER! It is time that we get rid of the Gimmicks and Manipulation when it comes to Giving! Either we Believe God as Preachers or we don't! If we have to help God raise the budget but auctioneering tactics, do we really have Faith in Jehova-Jireh, or do we have to help him accomplish His Word? Abram did that and ended up with Ishmael. Could it be we are doing the same?