Generosity

Do These 11 Things to Improve Your Church's Offering

Generosity

Do These 11 Things to Improve Your Church's Offering

Little moments in the life of your church can make a big difference.

One of the regular moments your church will experience together is the offering.

Over the years, I’ve met plenty of pastors who dreaded this time. Instead of leaning into this moment to make the most out of it, due to their fear, they let it come and go.

Hear me out on this: Your church’s offering is so much more than the gifts you receive.

The offering time in your church is an opportunity for you to lead the members of your church to experience a significant amount of grace, trust God with their money and possessions, and to participate in God’s work in your church.

Instead of letting your offering slide by as an afterthought, here are 11 things I’ve learned as my time as a pastor and working with churches around the world as the CEO of Tithe.ly to improve the offering in your church.

#1. Get a revelation about money

Generous giving isn’t natural for most people.

Think about it.

The first word most of us said was, “Mine!”

But as we grow in our relationship with Christ, our relationship with money changes, too. We no longer look to money as a solution to our problems or for power and prestige. We come to see that we’re only a steward of what we have.

Related: Stewardship in the Bible: What You Need to Know About Living Your Life for God

Many pastors I know are timid when it comes to talking about money from the pulpit because they don’t have a personal revelation about money. It’s hard to talk about money from the pulpit or during your offering when you’re not convicted about what God says about tithing in the Bible, generosity, and giving.

To confidently talk about money, you have to get a revelation about money from the Bible. And don’t let your personal financial situation get in the way. Like everyone in your church, you too are a disciple of Christ and will grow, in time, in your relationship with money.

#2. Know what your church wants to hear

“Can you handle the offering?”

This is a question I’ve been asked on more than one occasion because the pastor was apprehensive to talk about money.

Here’s the deal: There’s no need to be afraid.

Your church desires to live for Jesus and they want to hear what the Bible has to say about managing their money. So boldly proclaim what the Bible says!

#3. Let people know how to give

Toward the beginning of your offering time, let people know how they can give.

This reminder is something you’ll want to do every week during your offering. Give people an opportunity to get their phone ready to give with your church app, mobile giving, or online giving, or to get their cash or checkbook out.

At Tithe.ly, we provide our churches with an editable graphic they can use during their offering:

Sharing a graphic like this one above is an easy way to remind your church about the different ways they can give.

#4. Cast a vision

Your church will always have administrative costs.

From paying for your mortgage or rent, utilities, and office supplies, you’ll need money to pay your bills. But leading people to give money toward your bills isn’t inspirational. If anything, unless you’re behind on your bills, talking about covering your church’s needs is like pouring a bucket of water on a fire.

Related: 6 Must-Know Tips for Managing Your Church’s Finances

How does the financial support of your church further the Kingdom of God? Do you use donations to support local organizations or missionaries around the world? Do you have an opportunity to acquire a new building to serve as a launching pad for the gospel?

Cast a vision for your church to get excited about. Let them see how their financial support furthers the Kingdom and helps those in need, which leads me to my next point.

#5. Invite people to participate

As you cast a vision for your church, invite them to participate in God’s work.

When you prepare to “make the ask,” focus on using invitational language, like “receive your offering," “your support helps all of us to fulfill God’s call,” or “your offering makes it possible to support missionaries around the world.”

From just these few examples, the offering can be easily tied into the vision you cast for your church, and it presents the offering as an opportunity—not an obligation.

#6. Use scripture

There’s one thing you cannot miss during your offering: the Bible.

I’m not saying you have to provide a homily on giving, but at a minimum, you want to remind people of what God says about giving in the Bible at some point during the offering.

For a massive list of verses to use during your offering, I suggest bookmarking this post to keep handy: 106 Scriptures About Tithing in the Bible, Giving, and Generosity.

#7. Share stories and testimonies

Including a story will further inspire the generosity of your church.

The story you share doesn’t have to be grandiose or a huge production.

You can talk about a conversation you recently had with someone or how the church’s giving helped to support a student ministry camp, and you can read a message from one of the students.

Don’t feel obligated to include a story every week. Just aim to share something every few weeks as a way of providing your church with updates.

#8. Capture “the moment”

The time you ask people to give is what I like to call “the moment.”

Up to this point in time, people in your church may have been wrestling with whether or not to give or stressing over their financial situation. Use this moment as a way of leading people to seek the Lord as they make an offering.

Here’s an example of what I’ve said in the past:

"Hey, church.
I want you to focus on me for a moment.
We’re going to worship God with our money, and then I’m going to pray over the offering."

Regardless of what you say, your goal is to lead people to seek God, receive his grace, and give by faith and with joy.

#9. Express thankfulness

As a church leader, you can never say thank you enough.

Every offering your church receives is a sacrifice made by a member of your church. Remind them that their support is making a difference and tell them thanks at every opportunity.

#10. Prepare and practice

The offering in your church will take place every Sunday.

Don’t get caught by surprise and just have a member of your staff or volunteer mumble through the offering.

Redeem this time by preparing what you’re going to say and practicing what you’re going to say.

Get your stories ready.

Know what verses from the Bible you’re going to use.

Write down your thoughts.

#11. Give your visitors a pass

Every week during your offering, be sure to acknowledge your guests and allow them not to feel obligated to give. Taking a few moments to do this will provide a huge relief to people visiting your church and help them to feel welcomed.

Over to you

To recap what we’ve talked about, here are 11 ways you can improve your offering:

  1. Get a revelation about money
  2. Know what your church wants to hear
  3. Let people know how to give
  4. Cast a vision
  5. Invite people to participate
  6. Use scripture
  7. Share stories and testimonies
  8. Capture “the moment"
  9. Express thankfulness
  10. Prepare and practice
  11. Give your visitors a pass

Don’t be passive about the way you handle the offering in your church. It’s a few minutes of time you can redeem, lead your people to Christ, and help your church excel in the grace of giving (2 Cor. 8:7).  

What do you consider the most important tip above? Share your thoughts in the comments below.  

Dean Sweetman served as a pastor and church planter for over 30 years and he's the CEO and co-founder of Tithe.ly. When he’s not helping churches grow their giving, Dean enjoys spending time with his family and new grandson.

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

01
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.
02
Brady Shearer
www.storytape.com
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
03
Michael Lukaszewski
www.churchfuel.com
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
04
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).
05
Justin Dean
www.thatcc.com
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.
06
Daniel Irmler
www.churchhero.com
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.
07
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
08
Nik Goodner
www.crtvchurch.com
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
09
Kevin Ekmark
www.church.org
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.
10
Logan Fields
www.theappguys.org
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.
11
Kenny Jahng
www.kennyjahng.com
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!

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly powers mobile, text, and web giving for
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Do These 11 Things to Improve Your Church's Offering

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly powers mobile, text, and web giving for
churches and ministries.

LEARN MORE
Sign Up