Here’s the dilemma:
Easter services are packed with visitors and occasional attendees.
Everyone is excited to be in church celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and it’s a great time to share the good news with those who have yet to make Jesus Lord of their lives, but there is an elephant in the room:
THE CHURCH OFFERING.
Of course, you want to, and you should, keep the focus on Jesus! But it’s also a great opportunity to have people contribute to your church’s vision and ministry. Therein lies the dilemma that many pastors face; there is a fine line between offending visitors and going about God’s business of encouraging generosity.
Hopefully these three simple tips for taking up an offering on Easter will help you walk that line with ease.
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1. Don’t Apologize
Take the offering as usual, but specifically address visitors in a way that helps them feel less obligated to give. It’s important that you have a conviction that comes through to the audience. Say something like …
“Good morning, everyone and welcome to church! This is the part of the service where we receive our tithes and offerings (insert your wording). If you are visiting with us today, we don’t want you to feel pressured to give; you are our guest and we’re so happy you’re here with us today. This is the time in our service where members faithfully and biblically give to support the church’s mission and vision.”
2. Use the Bible
It sounds obvious, but using the Bible during the giving moment will not only encourage members, but will also show visitors that the Bible is your bottom line and that your church lives and breathes according to God’s Word.
Here are 20 verses on giving and tithing in the Bible to help give you some guidance:
- Deuteronomy 15:10 — “Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”
- Deuteronomy 16:17 — “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.”
- Proverbs 21:26 — “The righteous gives and does not hold back.”
- Proverbs 3:27 — “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
- Proverbs 11:24–25 — “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.”
- 1 Chronicles 29:9 — “Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.”
- Proverbs 22:9 — “He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.”
- Proverbs 28:27 — “He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.”
- Malachi 3:10 — “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’”
- Matthew 6:3–4 — “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
- Mark 12:41–44 — “And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.’”
- Luke 3:11 — “And he would answer and say to them, ‘The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.’”
- Luke 6:30 — “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.”
- 2 Corinthians 9:6–8 — “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
- Luke 6:38 — “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
- John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him wouldn’t perish, but would have eternal life.”
- Acts 20:35 — “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
- Romans 12:8 — “Or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
- James 2:15–16 — “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?”
- 2 Corinthians 9:10 — “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
3. Say Thank You
This is a great opportunity with a packed house to say thank you to all of your members for their continued sacrificial giving. Make a point to acknowledge member contributions, even mention some things you as a church were able to achieve as a result of their generosity. Your members will appreciate it and your visitors will get the message that you value generosity.
4. Keep it Quick
Taking up the offering on Easter doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out part of your worship service. Try to be snappy and to the point while communicating the right message.
5. Provide Options for Giving
Keep in mind that although your offering is primarily focused on members and regular attendees, you will have guests visiting who want to give for a variety of reasons.
It’s important that you make it simple for people to give when their hearts are moved so be sure you remind everyone that they can give when the plate comes around or directly from their smartphones through Tithe.ly online giving or text to give!
Over to you
Obviously Easter is all about sacrifice: God GAVE his only Son and Jesus GAVE up His life as a ransom for many. Giving and Easter are synonymous so there’s no need to be shy about the offering, just use some wisdom and use the time to win visitors to Christ.