A few years ago, I was in a budget meeting for my church where I first heard the term "Giving Unit" to describe the people in the congregation who regularly gave to the church. At first it seemed kind of funny to me. But later I reflected that it wasn't all that funny. I have come to despise the term in the last few years.
The problem with being a "Giving Unit" is that it only takes into account the financial gifts that a person contributes. I had a conversation with fellow church member a while back who was sorry that her family could not contribute more. Yet this woman had been active in many areas of ministry--giving her time and talents. I truly believe that time and talents are worth more to a church that money in many ways.
When your church is at the brink of collapse due to a decrease in members and contributions, it is easy to push the focus to acquiring more "Giving Units;" but in doing so, the real work of the gospel is lost. The Gospel is not so much worried about keeping doors open and pastors paid. The Gospel is what is required in our actions: giving oneself to the ministry to which God has called each of us. For a church not to recognize that time and talents are just as important as money, makes that church lack effectiveness and take members for granted. Let us remember that giving is not always about money.