3 Ways to Increase Giving in 2019 with Kenny Jahng

3 Ways to Increase Giving in 2019 with Kenny Jahng

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Modern Church leader
Publish date
January 23, 2019

This week on TV, Kenny Jahng joins Dean and Frank to talk about three ways your church can increase giving in 2019. Kenny is a digital marketing consultant to nonprofits, churches, and faith-based organizations. He is also the owner of Big Click Syndicate.

During their conversation, they discuss:

  • Common mistakes churches make talking about money
  • Why storytelling is key to increasing giving
  • Storytelling tips for smaller churches
  • How supporting a cause can boost giving
  • Why pastors should model a life of generosity


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:


This week on TV, Kenny Jahng joins Dean and Frank to talk about three ways your church can increase giving in 2019. Kenny is a digital marketing consultant to nonprofits, churches, and faith-based organizations. He is also the owner of Big Click Syndicate.

During their conversation, they discuss:

  • Common mistakes churches make talking about money
  • Why storytelling is key to increasing giving
  • Storytelling tips for smaller churches
  • How supporting a cause can boost giving
  • Why pastors should model a life of generosity


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)

This week on TV, Kenny Jahng joins Dean and Frank to talk about three ways your church can increase giving in 2019. Kenny is a digital marketing consultant to nonprofits, churches, and faith-based organizations. He is also the owner of Big Click Syndicate.

During their conversation, they discuss:

  • Common mistakes churches make talking about money
  • Why storytelling is key to increasing giving
  • Storytelling tips for smaller churches
  • How supporting a cause can boost giving
  • Why pastors should model a life of generosity


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

VIDEO transcript

(Scroll for more)

Frank Barry:  Okay, we're good. We're recording.

Dean Sweetman:  Hey, everybody. Dean Sweetman here along with Frank Barry. Mate, how you doing?

Frank Barry:  Hey, hey, doing awesome, having a good day. It's raining in San Diego.

Dean Sweetman:  It's raining in Los Angeles. Not good, although we need it.

Frank Barry:  We need it all day.

Dean Sweetman:  We get about 10 days a year of rain. It's all good. We'll muddle through.

Frank Barry:  We can manage. That's right. Nobody knows how to drive out here when it rains, but we're getting by.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah, absolutely. Man, we've got a great show today and we've been having some phenomenal shows. We get lots of great feedback and people are loving the content that we're putting out on the show. He's a guest, but he's also a mate of ours and we've gotten to know each other through different circles, around Christian entrepreneurship, and communications, and all that stuff, great guy called Kenny Jahng. We want to get Kenny in the mix here. Kenny, how you doing?

Frank Barry:  Kenny, what's going on?

Kenny Jahng:  Hey, hey, hey, welcome or thank you. I'm just excited to be with you guys, wherever you guys are.

Dean Sweetman:  We're excited to have you on, man.

Frank Barry:  We need to know if it's raining where you're at because it's raining where we're at.

Kenny Jahng:  No, it is not raining, but it's like 19 degrees, and it's [unseemingly 00:01:18] cold.

Dean Sweetman:  That's not cool.

Kenny Jahng:  I don't know what it is, but I just feel like, you know, sometimes you look out, it's sunny. You think it's nice and warm. You might put on some shorts or something and you go out and it's frigid. It's one of those days.

Frank Barry:  Yep, yep, understood. Well, it's like 55 here and raining, so can't complain and we need it.

Dean Sweetman:  Cool beans, so Kenny, can we just begin just telling our audience a little bit about you, what you do? You're involved in a lot of great stuff around the faith space, entrepreneur space, so give us a little background on Kenny Jahng.

Frank Barry:  See, you say a lot of stuff and our team's doing the research, prepping for the show, and one of our guys is like, "Man, I don't exactly know what Kenny does. He does so many things," so you've got to help us. Help us hone it in right now.

Kenny Jahng:  Well, it is like sometimes your mom doesn't know what you do, right? It's like, "He does all this computer internet dot stuff." Well, so here's the Cliff Note version. I run a digital agency called Big Click Syndicate. We help cause-driven, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations with storytelling, positioning, content marketing, everything digital. Then outside of that, I've got a heart and passion for the giving and generosity of our culture in the church that started largely because of traveling with my kids with sports. Like suburbia America, travel sports is the thing, right? You're on the road every single week.

Frank Barry:  Right.

Kenny Jahng:  We're visiting these churches and you see the offering plate get passed and they expect you to have a check. I'm like, "I don't have a check on me." Even cash, I don't have that much cash. It's embarrassing to my kids because we don't have anything to give, and so, okay, let's give online, and they don't have anything online. They don't have texting. There's so many churches out there, over those last several years that we've been traveling, just ... Then you see that their budgets obviously aren't being met and the dire straits of the church, so that's where the heart came from. I said, "Look, I think this is a communications thing, this is a messaging thing." You apply some technology and a lot of these communities can be thriving and vibrant. They just need help with the funding of their mission.

Kenny Jahng:  I started a little thing called Generosity Labs, which I'm trying to basically be like an educational clearinghouse, a safe space where giving people encouragements and some tools to help with that generosity and giving culture thing that so many churches have yet to figure out and just need a little helping hand here and there. That's why I love you guys, and all the tools that you guys have been bringing to the table to equip the local church. I think that's one of the reasons why we intersect so much because your heart and vision is where mine is, and let's do this thing, right? Equip the Church of God in North America.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:  Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  100%.

Kenny Jahng:  I mean, there's so much to do, right?

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah. Well, we're a marriage made in heaven because our passions are very intertwined both on the education side of things, helping churches understand, and then on the technology side. Obviously, that's what we do day-to-day. Let's go a little deeper with some of these thoughts because we get a lot of ... in talking to our customers, our thousands of customers lay every week, When we talk to churches, they're looking for help. It's like, okay, here's some text giving numbers, here's some website code, here's a mobile app. We love building all that stuff.

Frank Barry:  As soon as you said code, it was over at that moment.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah, yeah, you had me at code. We love doing all that, but one of the things that really what we're about, and this is in your wheelhouse, is how do you get church giving to increase? How does giving go up? The technology is one thing, but there are so many other components to it. Give us your 30,000 foot view down on the whole concept of increasing giving in a local church.

Kenny Jahng:  Yeah, I think it's you have to look at the history of the churchgoer where it's been obligation-based, guilt-based. It's been lack of communication, lack of messaging, lack of transparency. I think you've got to skew the other way. I think, more importantly, you need to win over the hearts and minds of the people in your community and say, "Come onboard and join us. Let's do something together."

Kenny Jahng:  One of the things I usually say is every church needs a cause. We've gone to the point where the local church is just very inward focused, very selfish. They just want money for themselves. Why should I give money so that you, Pastor, could buy a new car for yourself or buy something for yourself and not help the community, especially in this day and age, where you're talking about millennials, you're talking about Gen Z. You're talking about people that you know that we're bombarded with messages that this next generation wants significance and meaning in everything that we do.

Kenny Jahng:  It's not just work. It's not just play. Our faith-life, too. Why can't you hear that? Church, oh Church, please listen to us. That's what I think the first part is. It's not about these tactics. It's not. It's, strategically, does your church care about anything other than yourself? I think you can start locally. You can start globally. You can start partnerships with other nonprofits and organizations in your community that are doing great things for others.

Dean Sweetman:  Absolutely.

Kenny Jahng:  Let's start with the other. That's what we read in the Book, right?

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:  Why don't we give that out in the church?

Frank Barry:  Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah, that whole subject is very fascinating. I'm a boomer, so I'm a [inaudible 00:07:36], but I like to think I'm in tune with what's going on down the generational line.

Frank Barry:  You're a millennial in a boomer body. Is that what you're trying to say?

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah, something like that, or maybe the other way around. The whole rise of the cause through social media, Facebook ... everybody's got a cause. There's a whole place where you can go. The GoFundMe phenomenon where strangers are giving to causes. I did a little video thing the other day, it's like there's a good opportunity, if you've got a local cause, that you can get up on a Sunday and take an offering, and literally there's a really good opportunity. You're going to raise a lot of money because there's this thing that the marketplace is educating people on is this instant give to the cause. That's obviously a demographic thing into that millennial age group.

Kenny Jahng:  You know what? At the very end of the day, I'm optimistic about humanity and the people in our communities.

Dean Sweetman:  Amen.

Kenny Jahng:  People are good. People are generous. People want to help. If you just facilitate that and give them an easy on ramp to help somebody make a difference, they'll jump onboard.

Frank Barry:  Right. What have you ...

Kenny Jahng:  It's not that hard. You just need to let them have access to be a part of that story.

Frank Barry:  Yeah. What have you seen? You've been traveling around because of kids' sports, so you visit ... I see you on Facebook and Instagram here and there, right? You're visiting a lot of different churches, which is a unique experience. Not a lot of people go visit a bunch of different churches and get the experience and see what they're doing. You just have maybe more experience in seeing different churches than most people. What have you seen in this vein of having a cause or not having a cause, maybe in the other churches, like the downside of it, but what have you seen working really well?

Kenny Jahng:  Yeah, you know, what's interesting is you see, first of all ... I think I'm teaching my kids, this is unintentional, but you see the beauty of Jesus' Church because there's so many different ways to worship, but we're all in the same family together.

Dean Sweetman:  Beautiful.

Kenny Jahng:  That's the first thing. The diversity of styles and how we express that love and exalting God, I think, is just really interesting. The same thing goes with how they tell what their community does or what they stand for. Some, it's in the preaching. It literally is part of the lifeblood of what the meaning of that pastor's role and job is and he's telling stories about how he was out in the community, talking to Betty from this organization or was at this hospice, et cetera. Some of the time, it's from the preaching. Sometimes it's compartmentalized into stories right at the offering time. Sometimes, it's [inaudible 00:10:32], they just don't know how to connect the dots. I think there's completely a wide range. One of the things that I think we see that they get it and they understand is those that actually spend time during offering to talk not about themselves. It's so simple, but the offering time is the most strategic part of your worship service that it's forgotten by most pastors on a weekly basis.

Dean Sweetman:  I agree.

Kenny Jahng:  I think those are the ones that stand out. When they actually are intentional during that offertory, those are the ones that stand out.

Frank Barry:  Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  You talk a little bit about, in that moment, the power of telling stories. Can we expand a little bit on that? That's a big passion of ours too always. Finding that story, whether it's in the community, something that you've done as a church, something within the church that nobody really knew about but the church did something great. Those stories are powerful and they move people to connect with the church's vision.

Kenny Jahng:  Absolutely. We always say it, show, not tell. Don't just tell your people to be generous. Show them how it's actually being carried out. I think that your church should be able to source at least one story a week. Sometimes they're small and it might be just a personal interaction, but sometimes it might be grand. It might be a big project and a campaign that you guys carried out as huge as a community. Every single week, telling a story. It's the same thing. If you tell people they need to get baptized, they're going to need to get baptized versus having someone who got baptized tell the story of what life was like before Christ and what it was like after Christ.

Dean Sweetman:  Very good, very good.

Kenny Jahng:  It's much more powerful, much more convincing, much more of I want some of that. The same thing is this generosity. I will tell you in the generosity portion, it's so easy to get people to open up their checkbooks if you're just sharing the right stories.

Frank Barry:  How do you get those stories? We've had this conversation because we did a survey. We surveyed over a thousand church leaders and one of the questions was how often do you use stories in your preaching? I forget the response, but it was low. It was under 5 out of 10, right?

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah, I think it was in the 3s, 3 out of 10.

Frank Barry:  Yeah, it was one of the lower responses, right? It just tells us, of the survey results, those particular church leaders weren't using storytelling as part of the offering in a big way.

Kenny Jahng:  It's the most forgotten part of the church service, right?

Frank Barry:  Yeah. I think it's also hard telling stories, right? Telling stories, because you said it can be small or it can be grand and it can be anywhere in between, but I think figuring out how to source those stories, so that I can weave them in is probably something that pastors, church leaders aren't thinking about or don't know how to do. What have you seen work? Do you have any ideas around how to source good stories?

Kenny Jahng:  Yeah, I agree with you. I think it's very intimidating for a lot of people. They think it's grandiose. You have to have this like Hollywood, and even pastors, we go to seminary. We're trained with the Lowry Loop and you need to have this perfect bark of narrative, et cetera. It doesn't need to be that complicated. The first place I would start, honestly, is I would survey the congregation. I would ask, crowdsource and say, "We're looking for stories of generosity. We're looking for stories and glimpses of examples of someone doing a little bit more for someone else than for themselves." You greater than me, that's all we're trying to find. I guarantee you, your people will come out. Just ask, "How is our church generous? Can you give some examples that inspired you?" I think that's the first place to start. Ask your community. You don't need to be the one that has all the answers. You're here to facilitate the conversation with your community. But again, I think you're looking to catch really small examples of good behavior. That's basically what it is, right?

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:  It might be ... we had some family friends that lost their stuff in a storm, the Jersey shore. There's [inaudible 00:14:54] and stuff like that. Then you see the stories where you're donating clothes to families and stuff like that and they need to donate toys to the kids. Our kids, probably most kids, have more toys than they can handle. Almost every child that we know probably has more toys than they need at any given time, so why don't we donate some toys? Looking at some of the kids, their hearts are so pure. There's an example where the toys that were selected to give to a family was the best toys, not the crappy ones. So often as adults, we try to measure and figure out what is a good balance of giving to those that are lesser than use and you see the purity of kids' decisions of giving their best stuff because they want to be generous.

Kenny Jahng:  Sharing that and showing that and then relating it to what Jesus teaches us and what He's given to us is basically connecting those dots and that's a simple thing. I think that's powerful that will catch someone that day that needs to hear that to move them to say, "Yes, this is part of my spiritual discipline. This is a part of my spiritual DNA that I'm going to give." Even topics like, I'll tell you, tipping. Tipping at a restaurant. Everyone has an opinion about tipping yet sometimes, there'll be people in the conversation that just get you that says, "That one extra dollar, that shows the generosity for that person."

Dean Sweetman:  A hundred percent.

Kenny Jahng:  It doesn't mean that much to me, but for some people, that 50 extra cents, rounding up that one extra percent to two percent makes you stand out and really honors them. As a Christian, we want to witness that repeatedly. Just stuff like that, really. Those types of conversations that every day, everyone can relate to it and you're starting to have conversations about it in your homes after the service. That's what you can do during offering time.

Dean Sweetman:  You've [inaudible 00:16:58] something. Back in my past life when I was pastoring, I saw some terrible examples of Christians going to restaurants not tipping great or small or not at all, but leaving a hey, come to church next Sunday note. Are you out of your mind? I pretty much had a standing rule that if you're going to visit restaurants that [inaudible 00:17:23], because I made it a point to go and meet every manager in every restaurant, and I said, "If you turn up there and you say from our church and you're not tipping big, you need to keep your mouth shut." That's like, oh my gosh.

Frank Barry:  It's a church policy.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah, a hundred percent.

Kenny Jahng:  Your reputation precedes you and as a Christian or, like you said, as a member of our community, we want our identity to be known as a generous folk. How do you live that out? Even proposing that question to the people during offering time saying, "That's what we want to do. What are those examples? That's something you should think about. Let me know during this week what your thoughts are and, as you think about that, here's the offering plate for this week. Think about the sacrifice to take your own son and put him on the cross and making die for somebody else, not even someone in your own family. Think about that generosity, think about the small sacrifice that is to put that extra dollar bill in the offering plate," et cetera. Those are the types of those conversation starters you want to have during offering time.

Kenny Jahng:  That's where your gut feeling as a pastor or as a church leader that the guilt, I don't want to talk about money in front of people. I don't want to talk about obligation. You know what? This explicitly is the time in the service that's written for that. We're talking about money. That's literally when you talk about it. So let's get the conversation going in the church.

Dean Sweetman:  Yep.

Frank Barry:  So on this topic of storytelling, you're on the communications world, helping churches, and nonprofits, and ministries, so communication is something you spend a lot of time on. What have you seen go wrong or churches not do well when it comes to storytelling? Then we can follow it up with maybe how do you do it well and you've been around so maybe you've seen some examples of like wow, this is just a bad way to do this.

Kenny Jahng:  Yeah. I think one of the things that, at least from our creative team when we're doing videos or other types of stories, typically, we want to be Gospel-infused. Gospel is equated, at least, with hope in our team. So typically, you don't want to get in with something that's guilt, leading with guilt or something like showing the evil side of things and fear-based saying that if you don't give today, this child is going to die today. Typically, I think usually, you have other outlets and other ways to tell the story that's much more Gospel-centric and more hope-driven. I think that's the biggest mistake a lot of churches might do in their storytelling is that it tries to drive with guilt or fear. We should be known for hope and uplifting things. Even when there is a dire need, even where your emergency funding is something that you really needed direly, you can frame it in a way, I believe, that connects the positive outcome, the hope, the place that you want to go and not the place where you came from.

Dean Sweetman:  Fantastic. Really, really good.

Kenny Jahng:  Makes sense?

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:  Yeah, go ahead.

Dean Sweetman:  You mentioned something, a couple of questions ago, about smaller churches. We love serving churches of every size. We've got tens, thousands, we've got them all. But I always like to speak to that under 200, that under 250 church. Sometimes, they can feel a little under resourced with some of the things that we talked about, but what we're talking about today is very simple. Things like going your congregation, it doesn't matter how big it is, finding those stories. Getting embedded in your community. Finding out the needs of the community. Bring those needs into the church. Talking about how the church [inaudible 00:21:30]. You're not precluded as a small church from doing any of this, right?

Kenny Jahng:  Absolutely note. This is why I think many times in all these media and publications or church industry, a lot of the products and services out there assume that you have big media budgets, and large teams, and that you even have more than one pastor in the building. A lot of ministries are solo pastor. You're MacGyver, right?

Dean Sweetman:  Exactly.

Kenny Jahng:  You do anything and everything. You got to figure how to make things work. The hope there, I think, is that you don't need all this fancy-schmancy lights, technology, and all this kind of stuff. There's so many things out there available and again, it comes out to messaging. Communications and messaging is what people need to be inspired to open up their hearts. It's a heart issue. It's not a technology issue. It's not a budget issue. It's not a gadget issue. It's a heart issue. The only way you're going to get into someone's heart is through words, concepts, and embracing of support.

Dean Sweetman:  I love it.

Frank Barry:  I think, to that point, people respond to other people's heart change and the vulnerability and the authenticity of what somebody's sharing. So you could literally just have a person on the stage during the offering that has their own great story or their own great family, but if it's real and it comes out, even if it's messy, and not polished, and all this kind of stuff, the people sitting there listening will pick up on the heart all day long, and that's going to move people.

Kenny Jahng:  Here's the bad news, though, and it's exactly what you're saying, you have to be real about it, people know instantly if you, as the church leader, are really real itself. Are you just saying from the pulpit and from the microphone or does your life really count? One of the biggest rules in fundraising, especially many of these personal fundraising campaigns like the GoFundMe and all that kind of stuff, are you personally donating to your own campaign or are you just asking everyone else to open up their pocketbook and I don't need to do it because I'm special? I hate giving to someone's campaign where they're not contributing at all to their own mission trip and then they're asking everyone ...

Frank Barry:  First donor, right? They should be listed as the first donor on the donor list.

Kenny Jahng:  Yes.

Frank Barry:  You see the person doing the fundraising.

Kenny Jahng:  Yes, and not only that, making sure that you give something. Again, most giving campaigns, it's not about the amounts, it's about participation.

Dean Sweetman:  Right.

Kenny Jahng:  It's about telling someone I support you and I might not be able to be the biggest donor, but I support you. I'll give you $5. Even $5 typically will make a huge difference in your relationship, in encouragements, and in propelling them forward to be able to find other people to give as well. So be that cheerleader. You don't need to empty your pockets, but you need to have a heart that's genuine and try to give and support as many people as possible.

Dean Sweetman:  Fantastic.

Kenny Jahng:  Again, that's bad news because there are many church leaders out there who are trying to preach it but they don't live it out themselves.

Frank Barry:  You're right. People, they pick up on it instantly, right? You can see fake. When it's not authentic, when it's not real, when the person talking about giving isn't really living it, it doesn't come across, if it's not from the heart, people will pick up on it in 10 seconds.

Kenny Jahng:  You and I both have met church leaders, pastors, Christians who are just giving of themselves. You've met generous people. They just give away anything and everything. They're cooking for you. Anything mine is yours. There are people that live out acts for truth, right?

Frank Barry:  Yeah.

Kenny Jahng:  What do you want to do with those people? You want to give them back more. You want to help them. Those are the people where you'll wake up the whole town and say this person needs something and everyone will jump. There are people like that. On a daily basis, how do we become one click closer to that type of personality and persona? How do we live that up? It's hard. It's hard. [crosstalk 00:25:59] you'll bring people with you, basically.

Dean Sweetman:  That's why it's more blessed to give than receive because in the act of giving, all you're doing is attracting more blessing in your life. That's a biblical fact and a fact that I think we've all seen and lived out in so many lives.

Kenny Jahng:  It's a challenge, right? It's a personal challenge. I don't think any of us can say that we've conquered that. I have a lot more to do on that side. But you know when you find someone like that and if you're leader is like that, you're signing up for them and doing anything that person he or she wants you to do, you're there with them. That's the easiest way. You don't need technology. You don't need huge budgets. You just need that authentic heart. That's how you lead people.

Dean Sweetman:  Yep. Amen. Switching gears a little bit and still on the increased giving thing, do you think it's important for church leaders to understand what's going on behind the scenes in giving inside church life?

Kenny Jahng:  I don't know if this is a big thing or not, but it's a recurring topic and I'm part of this pastors group that meets once a month for lunch in Jersey. We all get together in a diner, take the same table, have these conversations and we talk and shop and that giving conversation comes up. Some of these pastors have no clue what any of their people are giving. They say, "Yeah, I got a sense of who's a bigger giver," but they have no clue. Some know exactly and they get reports of everybody's giving and it's not like an audit, but it allows them to have conversations. It allows them to honor high-capacity givers and more so, you'll see some of these pastors say, "It allows me to detect when something is up." That if you have a heart issue, if you have a sin issue, if you have a lifestyle change or something, usually, one of the first indicators is money.

Dean Sweetman:  Every time.

Kenny Jahng:  So using that as an early detection system allows you to at least raise a yellow flag, pay attention a little bit more, come a little bit closer into their orbit and see if something's going on and address that. Finances is a spiritual discipline [crosstalk 00:28:28].

Dean Sweetman:  Oh my gosh, it's a window in, not another question. I think he said something really important. You're not any judgment and this goes to amounts and all this kind of stuff. I was a big proponent in knowing the donors in the church for many of the reasons you just said. But it's an ability to be able to look at that. You put your business hat on, which I know a lot of pastors hate. I never had trouble doing that because if you want to grow a church, you're going to buy a land, build buildings, deal with banks, raise money in a multi-million dollar level, you got to have some business brains going on. For a business leader not to know where the income is coming from, you're going to think about any business where the guy who's driving that business doesn't know where the money is coming from, he's not going to be in business very long.

Dean Sweetman:  So there's some practical things that definitely being able to honor certain people and there are business people in the church that feel like God has called them. That's their gift. Their gift is giving. God's given them an ability to create wealth and they want to give it. Being confident enough in your skin as a pastor to be able to take those guys for breakfast and get to know about their business so you know how to pray for their business and just building that relationship, if you're not doing that I think you're missing out.

Kenny Jahng:  And let me tell you, it's not about just looking at the top half of the list.

Dean Sweetman:  Absolutely.

Kenny Jahng:  It's about looking at everybody and there's two things that we say for encouragements. You need recognition and you need appreciation. Those are the two different things. Recognition and appreciation. They're very separate. You want to be able to appreciate them. That's when you directly let them know that you're paying attention. That you see what's happening and that it makes a difference giving that feedback loop. Recognition is different than appreciation. Recognition is public and it takes on different other factors.

Kenny Jahng:  That may or may not happen in your community, but one of the things that you do want to do with donors is appreciation. That's what you want. It's not just the personal touch, it's the first time giving receipt but also the notes, the second-time giver. The chorally statements. The annual vision meetings to let them know you're sorting their donations, their hard-earned dollar. Whether they give $50 a year, $5,000 or $50,000, you want them to know they made the right decision. So I think there's so many missed opportunities for ministries that say, "Oh, we need to build this data breach protection system between the pastor and the finance team." I think it's sad because again, looking at it from a scarcity perspective, not an abundance perspective.

Frank Barry:  What's interesting with churches, churches are nonprofits, obviously very different universe but, I guess, by law, nonprofits. But in the nonprofit, like the traditional nonprofit world, knowing your donors is a massive part of the operation. You know who [crosstalk 00:31:50].

Kenny Jahng:  Actually, it's the whole thing. That's the whole ...

Frank Barry:  The whole thing is giving appreciation and recognition and knowing your donors. For the major donor segment, you might have to show appreciation in a different way to that group versus the new donor segment or whatever. So they really dig into this and understand this and it's something that maybe some churches are good at and others aren't. One example that I heard of recently was a church that they fully embraced this and they have a whole ministry for executive [inaudible 00:32:23]. Often times, if you're in business, and you're performing well, and you're executive level or C-level, you actually want to connect with other people like that. It's like any other ministry. If I'm a single mom, I want a single moms' ministry because I want to be able to connect with other single moms and get that support and encouragement.

Frank Barry:  But you don't see this purposefully created ministry around business people, right? But I guarantee you, that church that does that, that ministry is very successful because those people want to be together and you've now created a group for you and they're shameless about when it's time to raise money, they go to that group and that group knows they're coming. The group knows they're coming. It's just part of the makeup but it's not to treat them differently, it's to give them a ministry that they can connect with and talk about their stuff too.

Kenny Jahng:  It's allowing them to serve and express their gifts in a way for the church.

Frank Barry:  Right. Yeah. So, anyways, that's just one example that I've seen in a church that I was like, "Wow, they've embraced and gone even next level with how they make it part of the church."

Kenny Jahng:  Fantastic. Yeah, that's fantastic. Again, there's so many creative ways that you can start. Any church that has put up their arms and given up, I think we can easily start the conversation and say incremental gains. Let's start with one little thing at a time and see if we can turn things around and encourage you. You need encouragement as a ministry itself. Again, the tools that you guys are providing on a technology side allows the staff and the teams to not pay attention to some of the backend, the administrative itself so that you can focus more on relationship building, and cultivating of culture, and really casting vision. I think that's the best way of using technology, especially in a community like a church, for giving.

Dean Sweetman:  [inaudible 00:34:28]. Mate, as we wrap a little bit, I want to finish with just some encouragement from you to church leaders who just feel timid about this whole giving thing and we talk about this a lot because we know it's an issue and I love to get every guest feedback that I can around how do we encourage pastors, church leaders who are just feeling this is not they're thing. They're not sure how bold they can be. Just talk to that church leader who's going to be listening to day and encourage them and give them a couple of pointers on how they can really take a followed move when it comes to generosity and boldness.

Kenny Jahng:  First thing I'm going to put out there is you're not alone and it's okay to feel that way. There's a lot of other people in those same circumstances. The second thing is, even bigger, is that it doesn't need to be that way. There is a story for your ministry, for your community, for your ecosystem that is a quite different story and you know in our culture, in our country, in today's times, fortune's changed very rapidly if things happen for the right reason. One of the best ways that you can find support and encouragement is talking to other people. People that are in your circumstances and people that have been in your circumstances.

Kenny Jahng:  One of the best ways is you guys have a vibrant Facebook community. I think it's brilliant, right? It's a place that they can get almost like medical help and specialty help if they need to [crosstalk 00:36:16] get like a back rub from a friend. It's the mix of everything in that community where you don't need to be shy, you don't need to sheepish. You can raise your hand and say, "Look, we've been failing at giving this year," or, "We're under budget by 15%. What can we do? Help me brainstorm." These are the friends that are willing to help. If you're willing to help someone else brainstorm and be the sounding board or encourage somebody or keep someone accountable, if you're wanting to do just a little bit of that, you will get 10X, 100X back by joining the Facebook group that you guys have.

Kenny Jahng:  That's the number one thing I would say is that if you're not part of that group, become a part of the group. If you're part of the group, just be a little bit more active in encouraging. People need encouragement more than you think. The smallest little things that you can do in that group, whether it's just liking other people's stuff or giving feedback or giving a version of your experience, that is the best. Don't be a lurker. Social media is supposed to be social for a reason.

Dean Sweetman:  Very good.

Kenny Jahng:  Frank and Dean they're in the group and we have a lot of fun, right? We go back for these reasons.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah, absolutely.

Kenny Jahng:  That's the number one thing that you can do is to get to know the team here but also get to know everyone else in the community.

Dean Sweetman:  I love it.

Kenny Jahng:  Maybe I misstepping here. Do you have to be a customer to be in that group?

Frank Barry:  You don't necessarily have to. I would bet that 99% of people in there are customers because that's how they find it. They find it through becoming a customer and then jumping in and interacting with other people [crosstalk 00:37:52].

Kenny Jahng:  It's almost like a secret weapon for those customers and if you're not a customer, this is how you gain access to it for free, right? Become a part of that community, you'll see time and time again of the stories of churches and ministries incrementally gaining ground against this obstacle that might be in front of you right now. Again, you don't have to do it alone. There are so many other people that are willing to stand with you and encourage you. Please, don't waste another day, another week to go ... don't go through another Sunday where you're not optimistic about the offering time. You should not do that. Don't give up another Sunday. Be a part of the community. That's my number one.

Frank Barry:  Love it.

Dean Sweetman:  I love it, mate.

Frank Barry:  Very good. Well, I think that's a wrap. We don't want to keep people for too much longer. But Kenny, super appreciate having you around, man, and all your wisdom and insight. I'm sure we can talk for another hour about all kinds of things.

Kenny Jahng:  Yeah, we can do that. I love you, guys. You guys are doing such great work for the kingdom. Really, really thankful that you guys have come on the scene and taking that posture of generosity as being applied to the kingdom.

Dean Sweetman:  Amen. Well, it's a calling for us too. Hey, good to chat and mate, we need to hang out face to face soon. I don't know, we're [crosstalk 00:39:09] somewhere.

Kenny Jahng:  I'll take you up on that anytime.

Dean Sweetman:  All right, God bless, mate.

Frank Barry:  Thanks, Kenny. See you.

Dean Sweetman:  See you. Wow, that was awesome. I love it. His heart for God and his heart for the church, it just overflows. It's awesome.

Frank Barry:  Absolutely. He's a super generous guy himself, right? He lives it out.

Dean Sweetman:  Big spirit. I'm pretty excited about what's coming up next week, Frank. We've got, who I think, and I'm a little blessed because he works in tightly. He heads up all the development side for our custom apps, a guy called John Holtkamp, who I met it got to be nearly three years ago now. Anyway, through a series of beautiful things, ended up coming and is doing some great work for us. We're going to go deep, deep, deep on the benefits of custom church apps and it's going to be fascinating.

Frank Barry:  It's going to be a good show.

Dean Sweetman:  I think there'll be some show and tell and he might show some really cool things, the way apps can really help churches and so on. So that's coming up next week and I can't wait for that.

Frank Barry:  It may not be next week but I know it's coming up. For sure that show is on the books, it will be coming, just so one gets confused, but it's going to be a good one. Talking about engagement using church apps to engage your church. John, he's animal. He lives and breathes this stuff so we'll probably not going to talk much and we're just going to let him go.

Dean Sweetman:  Sounds good to me. All right, everybody. God bless. Phenomenal show. We'll see you next time.

Frank Barry:  Thanks, guys.

This week on TV, Kenny Jahng joins Dean and Frank to talk about three ways your church can increase giving in 2019. Kenny is a digital marketing consultant to nonprofits, churches, and faith-based organizations. He is also the owner of Big Click Syndicate.

During their conversation, they discuss:

  • Common mistakes churches make talking about money
  • Why storytelling is key to increasing giving
  • Storytelling tips for smaller churches
  • How supporting a cause can boost giving
  • Why pastors should model a life of generosity


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:


3 Ways to Increase Giving in 2019 with Kenny Jahng

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