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
Year-end giving is a crucial moment for your church.
Just consider these two sobering end-of-year giving statistics:
How well your church handles this moment will significantly influence your church’s budget.
Think about it.
If a significant portion of your church’s budget depends on the month of December, you need to have a plan in place to maximize this moment.
Unfortunately, many church leaders bomb when it comes to receiving an offering.
I don’t want that to happen for you.
Today, I’m going to share 10 ways you can take a powerful offering during the end of the year and week in and week out.
Do you struggle with giving?
Do you have a begrudging spirit when the offering comes along?
It’s hard to talk about money when you’re not convicted about what God says concerning generosity. To confidently talk about money, you need a revelation about money from the Bible.
And don’t let your personal financial situation get in the way.
You, like everyone in your church, are a disciple of Christ and will grow, over time, in your relationship with money.
For more on this topic, check out this interview with Tyler Reagin, president of Catalyst: Why Great Leaders Must Be Generous Leaders.
It’s difficult (if not impossible) to get water from a dry water well.
The same holds true for taking up an offering.
If the culture of your church isn't generous or your church hasn't grasped stewardship in the Bible, it can be challenging to compel people to be generous.
As a church leader, you have to build a culture of generosity.
In creating this type of culture in your church, you’ll have to address one common problem: a poverty mindset—the belief that there’s not enough money to go around.
You have to blow this notion out of the water.
In its place, you have to open up your Bible and preach about …
In time, as you plant God’s word into the hearts of your church, you’ll cultivate a culture of generosity.
Let’s say you’re about to take up an offering in your church.
How many people would respond if you said this:
“Hey, I want you to get out your checkbook, and we’re going to give.”
Be honest with your answer—probably not many.
Now, if you said this:
“Hey, get out your mobile phone, and let’s make a contribution.”
There’s a good chance every single person in your worship service has a phone available.
Here’s the deal:
You have to make it easy for people to give.
Not only do you need to have a digital strategy in place, you must have a digital-first mindset.
Keep your giving envelopes and buckets around. But lead with a digital strategy first and foremost. This makes all of the difference in the world.
Your church’s offering only occupies a few minutes of time, but how you handle this moment can make a big difference.
As the leader of your church, you have to stand up big and bold, cast a vision, and let people know their financial support makes it possible for your church to do the work God has called your church to do.
Here’s one thing you need to know about giving:
God gives grace to givers (2 Cor. 9:6–11).
He is at work in the life of your church—especially in the relationship with money and possessions.
Invite your church to participate in the offering.
Don’t sweep this moment under the rug.
Don’t be apologetic.
Be bold and encourage your church to trust God with their finances.
It’s critical that you use the Bible every single time you take up an offering.
Jesus talks about money more than he does any other subject—and it ain’t even close. From Genesis to Revelation, money and stewardship is talked about front and center.
God talks often about money for good reason too:
There’s a connection between the way we handle our money and faith.
God wants to break any bondage people have with money and possessions, and he works through His Word to break these chains.
There are a lot of stories—testimonies—waiting to be shared in your church.
As a pastor, you have a front row seat in observing God’s work in the life of your church. But most of the congregation has no idea how their money is being used.
During your offering, share stories to illustrate God’s work in your church.
The stories you share don’t have to be made for movies. You can simply invite someone to share how giving to your church has been a blessing for them and their family.
Here’s why sharing stories are crucial:
In Matthew 6:21, we read:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
As a church leader, you want people to give to your church because you want their heart with you too. You want them to be committed to your church’s vision, and giving is one way you connect the two.
Find stories you can share.
Ask people to talk for 2–3 minutes, sharing about what giving has done for them and their family.
The time you ask people to give is what I like to call “the moment.”
This moment likely comes after you’ve shared stories, made announcements, or let them know how they can give. Now you have to capture their attention and lead them to seek the Lord as they make an offering.
In the giving moment, I like to slow everything down, and say something like this:
“Hey, church. I want you to focus for a moment. We're going to get ready to give.”
In this moment, you want to capture the attention of your church.
People in your church are giving sacrificially. In their heart, they are fighting what the world tells them to do: “Hold on to what you have.”
The world teaches us to get, whereas Jesus leads us to give.
To help your church loosen the grip of the world upon their life, you want to turn the giving moment into a sacred moment.
Take a deep breath.
Thank God for the people in your church.
Ask for God to bless your people.
Inviting God into this moment will help your church to sense His presence and appreciate the importance of the moment.
As a church leader, you can never say thank you enough.
At the end of the giving moment, be sure to tell your church thanks. Thank people who give in person or who give online or with their mobile device.
Every offering you receive—even at the end of the year—is a sacrifice made by one of your church members. Thank them for making a sacrifice to support the work of your church.
This is going to sound counterintuitive.
But give your visitors a pass.
During Christmas, your church will have a lot of first-time guests or Chreasters—a person who only attends a worship service on Christmas and Easter.
Here’s something I’ve said in the past to place visitors at ease:
“Look, if this is not your church or you’re just visiting, we don’t want you to feel any pressure to give. Of course, you’re welcome to give here or at your local church as you feel led, but I don’t want you to feel any pressure to give as a visitor.”
There you have it.
The 10 keys to taking an effective year-end offering:
Reflect on these tips, and prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time. By practicing your year-end offering, you’ll be in a much better position to make it effective.