Church Giving During COVID: Reasons for Optimism
God’s people are still giving, churches are learning from this pandemic, and God is still faithful.
October 26, 2020
Talking about increasing your church’s giving is a touchy subject.
So let’s clear away the awkwardness from the beginning: When it comes to talking about increasing your church’s giving (and increasing online giving), it’s not about the act of giving per se. It’s more about building a generous church culture. A culture where your church desires to be generous with their resources because Jesus has been generous to them by giving them new life.
With this in mind, let’s walk through 11 ways you can increase your church’s giving. The steps below are listed in the order that they build off of one another. The intent of what follows is to equip you with practical ways you can unleash generosity in your church.
The foundation of your church giving is whether or not they have come face-to-face with Jesus.
We are transformed into generous people through faith in Christ. In time, as the people of your church meet Jesus, then you will see your church respond to his generosity toward them by being generous.
Preach the gospel.
Lead your people to receive God’s grace in their life. For it is God’s grace that will empower your church to become generous givers (2 Cor. 8:1–9).
If preaching the gospel is the foundation of church giving, then teaching biblical stewardship is the pillar.
Being good stewards of our resources is paramount to being a disciple of Jesus.
Lead your church through a sermon series on stewardship, provide biblical stewardship classes, or take your small groups through a series on giving.
Teaching on biblical stewardship will inform your church of their need to steward their time, talent, and treasures for the kingdom of God.
To help your church further embrace biblical stewardship, considering offering financial coaching or counseling.
Within your church, see if a certified financial planner can lead a class or have a volunteer coordinate a Financial Peace class by Dave Ramsey.
As the members of your church learn to live and love like Jesus, it’s essential to help them learn practical ways they can become the best steward of their resources. Once people know how to manage their money, they'll feel more able to give, thus helping to increase church giving.
Have you told your church “thank you"?
Have you let them know that their giving helps support the work of the local church ministry?
Do you empathize with them by telling them you understand the financial sacrifices they’re making?
As a church leader, expressing gratitude is easy to forget. The offering time during your worship service can become a task to accomplish.
Set a tone of gratitude in your church by expressing your appreciation of the church’s giving. This simple gesture will go a long way to encourage the people in your church to give.
God is at work in your church.
He is giving people new life in Christ. He is transforming people into the image of Jesus. He is restoring marriages, changing lives, and building his church.
Cast a vision of the work your church is doing in the community and around the world and how increasing church giving will help accomplish the goals you have. Highlight the work of different church ministries. Invite missionaries or representatives of ministries you support in the area to share their stories.
Sharing stories will illustrate God’s tangible work in the lives of people. These stories will encourage people to know that they are participating in God’s work by supporting the local church.
Leading by example in giving is challenging.
As a church leader, you walk a fine line of setting an example versus making yourself the hero.
Even though this is the case, it’s important to be vulnerable and let your church know that you’re sacrificing financially, too.
Now, this doesn’t mean you let people know you’re forfeiting a vacation or going out to dinner. These types of statements, even if they’re innocent or intended to encourage people, can easily guilt the members of your church into giving.
Is your church full of children?
If so, then encourage families with children to challenge their children to give. It’s best for children (like employed teenagers) to learn from a young age how to steward their resources well.
Do you have college-age students or recent graduates? Challenge them to give.
Your goal in compelling younger members to give is not to boost short-term giving. That’s not the case at all. Your goal is to cast a vision of biblical stewardship in their life from an early age.
Can people give to your church with their smartphone?
If not, you might be making it difficult for your church to give.
As of 2015, two-thirds of Americans owned a smartphone. People with smartphones carry out dozens of tasks every day on their phone — including banking.
Make it easy for smartphone users to give by providing them with a text-to-give option or mobile giving app (Tithe.ly offers these two services and more with one easy to use platform).
Giving people an opportunity to make recurring donations is essential to increase church giving. Automated giving is a simple way you can encourage regular and reliable donations.
If people are not in your worship service, then they are prone not to give. This is just the reality of human nature (and forgetfulness).
Providing an automating giving option will lead people to give when they are absent from a worship service.
If your church doesn’t have an automated giving solution, then we encourage you to check out Tithe.ly.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matt. 9:37).
God is not only at work in your church, but he’s at work in your community and around the world. Jesus is building his church, and he’s calling you and your church to participate in his work.
Do you want to support an additional missionary? Is there an organization in your community you want to help? Do you have a vision for a new ministry to serve people?
Cast a vision before the members of your church of the work God is calling you to do. Challenge them to participate in his work by not only volunteering their time and talents but by giving toward this new work.
Set a specific financial goal. Let people know the date they need to give. Celebrate different milestones along the way.
Organize short-term giving campaigns throughout the year to challenge people to give toward one-time specific causes. This can be raising support for a family within the church, meeting a need in your community, or sending gifts to a missionary you support.