How to Live Your Life As a Gift
Brad Formsma, author of "I Like Giving," talks about the transformative power of living your life as a gift.
December 3, 2018
Year-end giving is a crucial time for your church. Here are 10 ways you can maximize end of the year giving in your church.
November 23, 2018
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 year-end giving will significantly influence your church’s budget.
Think about it.
If a large portion of your church’s budget depends on giving in December, you need to have a plan in place to maximize this moment.
Unfortunately, many church leaders struggle to take up a compelling church offering.
I don’t want that to happen to you.
Today, I’m going to share 10 ways you can take a powerful offering during at any time--especially during the end of the year.
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 don't have a conviction 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 financial situation get in the way.
You, like everyone in your church, are a disciple of Christ and will grow 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.
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 in their pocket.
Here’s the deal:
You have to make it easy for people to give.
Not only do you have to have a digital strategy in place, but you also have to 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 it 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 their 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 for you to use the Bible every single time you take up an offering.
Jesus talks about money more than he does any other subjection—and it isn’t even close.
From Genesis to Revelation, money and stewardship are talked about front and center.
God often talks about money for a good reason, too:
There’s a connection between the way we handle our money and our 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 you’re 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 and talk 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 give.
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, and ask for God to bless the people in your church.
Inviting God into this moment will help your church to sense His presence and appreciate the importance of this time.
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 a member of your church. 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. For this group of people, you want to wash away and sense of feeling obligated to donate money.
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, give to your local church. You’re welcome to give. 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.