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
Jesus is building your church.
He’s calling people in your community to participate in his work.
One way he supports his mission is to lead people to fund your mission.
As a church, you need money.
You need to pay salaries, rent, office expenses, and fund your ministry efforts.
How your church manages money is crucial.
But you know what may be more important?
How your church manages your givers.
How do you …
Over the years, I’ve seen how easy it is for church leaders to overlook managing givers.
Here’s the deal:
Managing givers is so much more than managing money.
It’s about shepherding your people to honor God with their money and possessions.
To help you better manage givers in your church, here are five lessons I’ve learned over the years.
Pastor, when it comes to talking about money, the buck stops with you.
You have to take ownership of how your church manages its money and how you manage your givers.
As you lead your church, shepherd your people, and cast a vision, you have to take it upon yourself to talk about your church’s finances.
You have to talk about your church’s budget.
You have to keep your church members in the know about the financial health of your church.
Your should not delegate the responsibility of your church’s finances to someone else.
You have to take it upon yourself that your church is up-to-date, and that your givers are managed well.
The church is a peculiar organization.
It’s a blend of flesh (people) and bones (administration).
As a pastor, it’s easy to focus on spiritual things.
You want to spend time preparing your sermon, counseling people, and in prayer, which makes perfect sense and these activities are critical to your work.
But here’s the deal:
You cannot neglect general business principles.
Over the years, I’ve seen many pastors get themselves off track and into a bit of trouble because they didn’t keep track of their church’s budget.
Know what the Bible says about business.
Be sure your church’s finances are in order.
Nurturing key donors may sound counterintuitive.
But hear me out.
In your church or church plant, you will have key donors who provide significant financial support. This was a lesson I learned when I planted a church in the United States (If you couldn’t tell from the video, I’m from Australia).
After launching the church, we received a check for $4,000.
Mind you, this was in the 90s, so this was a big deal, and it still is today.
As I was adding the donation to our church’s ledger statement, I was worried.
I thought he added an extra zero.
To make sure I had the right amount, I gave him a call and said, “Hey, we got your check. Is $4,000 the right amount?”
“Yeah, pastor. That’s our monthly tithe.”
I was floored.
I didn’t know people would donate that much money.
He asked me to meet him for lunch, so I said yes.
During our time together, he said something really powerful that stuck with me throughout the years.
He said, “Dean, there are business people who get involved with churches, and they want to contribute. All they need is open communication to stay faithful.”
Here’s the deal:
To nurture key donors, you must maintain transparency in your communication about your church’s finances—especially how donations are being used to further the Kingdom of God.
Don’t move to the next tip just yet.
There’s one caveat I’d like to share.
Nurturing key donors is not the same as showing key donors favor.
Your goal isn’t to suck up to them or get more money out of their pockets.
The primary thing you need to do is say “thank you.”
Let them know you appreciate their financial contribution, and that you’re praying for them and believing God for the best for their family and business.
Most people who donate money want to know their money is going to good use.
To help people feel secure in what they donate, let them see under the hood of your church’s finances.
This point goes back to my first point above.
Be transparent about the money you’re church receives and spends.
Share your budget information every quarter or year.
Let people know how your managing the church’s money.
Keep your door open, and let people feel comfortable to ask questions.
By being transparent, you’ll make people feel more confident.
As a church leader, you have a front row seat to God’s work in your church.
However, many of your church members may have no idea about everything going on. This is why it’s essential to share how God is changing lives.
What you celebrate doesn’t have to be huge.
If you set a goal to buy new chairs, sound system, or projector for your worship team, and you reach your goal, that’s a win you can celebrate.
Take this opportunity to get before your church, and say:
“Hey, church. Over the last nine weeks, we set a goal to raise $10,000 for a new sound system, and we hit it. You did it!.”
As you celebrate wins, both big and small, you’re going to boost your church’s confidence.
Think about it like this.
As a church leader, when you stand before your church, set a goal, and then celebrate accomplishing that goal later, you’re going to earn respect and confidence from your church.
So, the next time you set a financial goal, your church will be even more inclined to sacrifice financially.
As you put these tips into action, you’ll observe an increase in giving and giver retention.
In other words, people will give more and people will give more often.