Talking to a church about giving can be uncomfortable. In the same way that we find it awkward to bring up finances at family events, it is often awkward to talk about finances with our church families. This usually isn’t because church members don’t have money or don’t want to give. Sometimes it is just because the needs aren’t clearly communicated and the methods of giving aren’t shared.
Here are six ways of encouraging church members to give to their church.
Begin by talking about the impact.
It may be awkward to talk about finances, but it will help if you begin by talking about the impact of giving. Talk about the direct results, maybe even showing examples. If you have done a restoration, show before and after photos. Or if the money is supporting a food bank, bring someone who has benefited to talk about how it has impacted him or her.
Make sure all leadership is communicating the same message.
If the pastor is giving a different message than the rest of leadership, church members will be confused and less likely to give. This will cripple any campaign to raise money for the church. Before you begin encouraging members to give, make sure leaders are supporting the campaign, communicating the same message as the pastor, and leading by example.
Make giving easier.
It is simple to drop cash or a check into a tithe and offering plate, but consider how often people carry cash around nowadays. You need to supply alternative methods of giving so those who didn’t plan to give can easily give as well. The Adventist Giving app is one method that is convenient and free. Also, PayPal, Venmo, Square, or Apple Pay are all options that are actually simpler than they may seem at first.
Help members take control of their finances.
Some members feel financially underwater. When you add in one more place that wants their money, it just seems like another stressor or potential crisis rather than a beautiful giving opportunity. In order to help this, offer classes to help them take control of their money through budgeting, creating emergency funds, and designating money for giving. For example, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is an affordable and effective class that can be offered at your church.
Speak about giving on a regular basis.
Familiarity is a powerful tool. Speaking about giving can be awkward, but if you regularly include it in your speaking schedule, that awkwardness will wear off.
Think about it. If you only talk with your spouse about your budget when things are going poorly or you are in need of more money, the conversations will become uncomfortable. Eventually you will avoid the subject. It’s the same with your church. If the subject only comes up in times of crisis or when you have a project that needs funding, it will be awkward and difficult.
When you speak about giving on a consistent basis, you should also thank the church for giving. Praise the churchgoers for supporting the church and giving their time and money.
Explain the difference between a tithe and an offering.
It may sound simple, but many people do not know what the difference is between a tithe and an offering. Explaining what the difference is and how each one is used within the church can help members understand where their gifts are going. This in turn can help encourage them to give.
One way of explaining these differences is creating visual aids such as bulletin inserts or posters so your members can see what the differences are instead of only hearing them explained from the pulpit. Find a freelance designer in your church or online and they will be happy to help you out with this project.