In my last blog I talked about the need for the church to rethink the way it talks about money. For this blog, I am sharing 5 things to think about when dealing with stewardship in the church.
1. Utilize the call to the offering. -Every Sunday the pastor or someone else gets to stand in front of the congregation and ask people to give. Often this 20-30 seconds is boring and routine. But this is a great moment in the service to shape the giving of your church. How could you use that moment to help your people think about money in a Christ-like way?
2. Get testimonies pertaining to the mission of the church. – This is a great thing to incorporate the call to the offering. Have people share stories about how they have seen or experienced the mission of the church being lived out. Find every reason to talk positively about God’s work in your midst.
3. Stop publishing your financials in every bulletin and newsletter. – I understand why people do this. We think it makes people want to give because they know about the need. The reality is that it only puts people into a mode of giving to keep the organization open. Here is my own experience. We stopped putting the financial in the bulletin almost a year ago. What we did was begin posting the weekly giving and attendance on a bulletin board so that people who wanted to know could see the information. At first a few people were bothered, but now, interestingly enough, I never even so those people looking at the numbers. They cared when it was constantly in front of them, but when they had to go get the numbers they did not care as much, but they also felt secure knowing they could get the information when they needed it. Now guests are not scared off by our low summer giving weeks.
4. Start giving quarterly giving reports. – Many churches only give an annual report to members of what their giving has been for tax purposes. This is a mistake. People do not always realize that they have not been giving regularly. Good practice is to give a quarterly update so that people can see how they are doing. I recommend adding a letter of thanks with that letter.
5. Consider online giving. – This is the way of the future. A lot of young people do not have cash or own checks. I do not. Even a lot of older members are now paying bills online. The fact is that when people do not come to worship then they often do not give. This is evident when summer giving is so low. I have heard that it greatly benefits churches who get the consistency of online giving.
Here is a bonus: Say thank-you. If we only ask, ask, and ask then we are basically like a 2 year old. Thank-you’s are a blessing both from the pulpit and in hand written notes.