What is the appropriate amount to give when it comes to the multiple requests that a pastoral family receives for mission trip assistance, graduations, birthdays, and weddings? Our income is very limited, and we get bombarded every year with numerous invitations. It seems so
cheap to only give $5 here and there, yet we cannot afford to give $20 to each person. I feel really bad, but at times we have given more to some and less to others. It is always a dilemma, and we struggle to do the right thing. To be honest, we always dread graduation time because of this
obligation that we cannot seem to fulfill.
Few pastoral families can afford to give cash gifts for every event, especially if you serve a large congregation or district. First, choose a realistic amount that you can spend each year. Then focus on gifts that are meaningful rather than expensive. Some pastors give thoughtfully chosen
devotional books for graduations, weddings, or milestone birthdays. Find attractive books that have meant something to you personally and purchase in bulk for a better price. Wrap them nicely and include a note of spiritual encouragement. If you have a talent for bargain shopping, you could also keep a stash of nice but inexpensive gifts on hand for unexpected events. And homemade gifts are appropriate for some occasions. Your family might enjoy making cards, bookmarks, or Bible verse artwork to give away. If you do decide to give cash, know that even a small gift is appreciated when given with prayers and thoughtful wishes. As for mission trip donations or other evangelism projects,
those are really a matter of personal conviction. Consider setting aside part of your yearly family budget to help with these important requests. If God impresses you and your spouse to give, He will make it possible. “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you” (Deuteronomy 16:17, NKJV).
Blessings as you serve!