Black Friday Pro Tips For Christian Shoppers


Black Friday Pro Tips For Christian Shoppers

The day after Thanksgiving is commonly referred to as Black Friday and is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days, where you can find some of the best deals of the year. For many it signifies the official kick off of the Christmas season, a tradition they wouldn’t miss for the world.

While the term Black Friday was originally used to represent the day in which retailers returned to profitability (“back in the black”), some people also use it to describe the enormous crowds and chaos that ensues every year as people rush to stores to take advantage of big sales.

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding a good deal, but we also need to be cautious about budgeting and saving. It’s not uncommon to walk away from Black Friday with an empty wallet and a ton of stuff you didn’t need.

As Christians, how do we balance a generous lifestyle without going into debt?

If we plan ahead and have self control, we can use these great sales to our advantage and not go into debt trying to save a buck or two.

If you’re planning on joining the crowds this Black Friday here’s some pro tips to help you have the best Black Friday shopping experience:

Plan Ahead & Make a List

Black Friday isn’t the day to aimlessly walk up and down each aisle, hoping you’ll be inspired to find the best gifts. That’s a great way to miss out on the best deals, and a great way to add a ton of stuff to your cart that you don’t really need.

Look online for each particular store so you can determine what they have on sale, and who you’re going to buy it for.

Check the Map

Most stores will provide a Black Friday map that shows you where in the store you can find each sale item. That way you can go right for what you have in mind, and not get distracted with stuff outside of your budget.

Keep in mind, on Black Friday they often move stuff around. So if you’re looking for a specific electronic, chances are they may have it at the front of the store on Black Friday. Check the map so you don’t waste time looking for it. If it’s a really good sale, these items can go quickly.

Download Store Apps for Rewards

Most retailers have their own app these days, and during Black Friday they’ll offer additional discounts available only in the app. Stores like Target also have coupons and rewards that you can apply on top of the sales.

Plan out which stores you’ll be going to, then check out the app for each store. This is a great way to really pile on the savings.

Check the Fine Print

Just because a store says a TV is on sale this Black Friday, doesn’t mean that sale applies to everyone. Most stores have “Door Buster” deals that are only available to a certain number of people. And those people are usually the first ones in line before the store even opens.

If you’re going to a store to get a specific item, make sure you read up on how many they’ll have available and what you have to do to get it. If you’re overly zealous and can get in line early, you can score some really incredible deals.

Check out Clark Howard’s Top 20 Black Friday Deals Worth Waiting In Line For.

Know the Return Policy

Moving quickly and making fast decisions is the key to getting in and out of stores on Black Friday, and is the only way to ensure you get what you came for. If you know the store’s return policy up front, then you can make quicker decisions.

If you grab something you don’t need just because it’s on sale, be sure you can return it later if you change your mind.

Likewise, if something is heavily discounted and you don’t grab it, it may be gone or the sale may have ended if you try to go back for it later. This is why it’s important to plan what you want to buy ahead of time, so you can make these decisions quicker.

Whatever you do, remember that being generous doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead and know your budget.

Here’s to a safe and generous holiday season for you and your family.

Expert Tips on How to Effectively Launch a New Online Giving Tool

Make it accessible so people can give in the way that is most comfortable to them. Don't make it hard for people to give money.
Some people like to give online, some like mobile, some like text. Whatever they like, let them give in that way if you can.
Brady Shearer
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
Michael Lukaszewski
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
Teach it in your new member class.
Allow for people to sign-up right on the spot via their mobile phone (or through a laptop or iPad for those that don't have a mobile device handy).
Justin Dean
On launch weekend, have volunteers and staff accessible with iPads to walk people through how to set up an account and get recurring giving configured.
Daniel Irmler
On a regular basis, tell stories from members who are using and loving it. 
You don't don’t need a big production value shoot. Keep it simple by using an iPhone (horizontal) and a decent mic.
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
Nik Goodner
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
Kevin Ekmark
I always tell people, "you need to clean your house before you invite friends over". It's crucial that your giving platform is easily found, whether it's on the web or in the church. 
On the web, making sure that your website is mobile friendly (Google and Bing both recommend mobile responsive design) can be a huge help. You can also incorporate bots from Facebook or a service like Intercom to help walk people through online giving on your website. When necessary, a human can jump in and help too. This helps complete the process from being found online to completing the online giving.
Logan Fields
Tell them the real reasons. Giving members are concerned with what's best for the church and not just what they individually prefer. Transparency.
"This platform will allow us to better manage finances and spend less staff time on the books and more on people." etc. The temptation is to treat members like consumers who we need to impress instead of team members. Treat them like equals who you assume are interested in what's best for the church/ mission and people will likely rise to it.
Kenny Jahng
Launch a $3.16 campaign. Ask people to all give just $3.16 to a weekly or bi-weekly blessing fund. Then, pick one person or cause to bless IN TOWN and go give that person all the money collected.
  • It could be the all volunteer firefighter squad in town. "We'll take all the $3.16's collected and go buy a meal or treat and drop off for the firefighters who volunteer."
  • It could be a widow the church knows about - bless her with something new for her home or hobby or pets.
  • Single mothers - supply them with a night out. Or pay for a house cleaner or a handyman for a couple of hours.
  • Special needs families - pay for evening out for the parents and child care for the special needs kids so the parents get a break.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
This works incredibly well because you are teaching generosity / outward posture to your people on a consistent basis and getting people to give on mobile- while making it about PARTICIPATION vs AMOUNT. You'll have people regularly trying out the mobile option as well as pre-register them in the system.

There you have it! Some amazing tips, right?

Which tip stood out the most to you … or looked to be the craziest?! Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you! powers mobile, text, and web giving for
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