Church Hospitality: A Short Guide
Church hospitality isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s essential. Here are 4 practical ways to prepare for the 2 types of guests you should expect.
November 18, 2020
There’s no better season to have recurring giving than the summer.
Members are on vacation.
Students (who often don’t tithe) are back in town.
Parents (who often do tithe) are away.
Grandparents (who often tithe more) are visiting their kids for the summer.
God doesn’t call churches to advance his kingdom during the school year.
God calls churches to advance his kingdom “as long as it is called ‘today’” (Heb. 3:13).
Kingdom advancement takes resources.
Many churches struggle with a summer giving slump.
But you don’t have to struggle.
With the right technology and preparation, you can make the summer a unique season of long-distance pastoring of vacationing adults and short-term pastoring of visiting students.
With God’s call for summer kingdom-advancement in-hand, and his provision of powerful, simple technologies like Tithe.ly Giving on our phones, there’s no excuse for the notorious “summer dip” that churches face.
Want to know how you can avoid summer stagnation right now?
I’ll walk you through the whole 5-step process to creating a summer of ministry your church will never forget by taking the right preparatory steps right here.
Let’s get started.
One of the reasons fall and winter can be such successful giving seasons is because there is a clear purpose for giving:
People can sense purpose.
This compels giving.
People want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Here’s the hard truth:
Summer can feel kind of meaningless.
When people don’t think the church is doing anything meaningful, they aren’t going to be compelled to give more.
Members aren’t going to give to the “just because” campaign.
So here’s what you need to do:
Figure out a meaningful giving campaign for the summer.
Some ideas are:
Find something that is high purpose, but low cost that will propel giving momentum from after Easter, but won’t require you to sink into debt to accomplish.
Establish purpose first.
Then you can strategize how you will maintain your financial bottom line for the summer months.
Don’t let your goals stay in the abstract.
If you want to run a summer-specific giving campaign, make your metrics extremely specific and highly visible.
People don’t want to give to an ambiguously conceived cause.
Conceptual ambiguity is a financial black hole.
People want to know exactly where their dollars are going.
Calculate the exact budget for a campaign, and make your goal that exact budget.
Don’t make your goal “We want to raise $100,000!”
Why $100,000? What happens if we only raise $99,000?
Make your goal big and clear: “We need exactly $98,521.49 this summer. And we need you to partner with us to get there.”
Again, conceptual ambiguity is a financial black hole.
People aren’t inspired by ambiguity.
Specificity communicates urgency, and urgency communicates purpose.
People are hungry for purpose.
If your summer fundraising goal is $98,521.49, make it, “We need $98,521.49 by August 13th.”
Remind people often.
Make church announcements.
Share it on social media.
Even better: Remind people several times per week.
Don’t make your pitch, “We need your money!”
Word your pitch like this: “We are doing something amazing. Partner with us.”
If your pitch is that you want to run an apologetics class this summer for college students, make it clear how the money people donate will add value to the community and the students.
Create a “Mars Hill Academy,” after the Apostle Paul’s debate with the philosophers in Acts 17, and create a clear picture of the process students will go through:
This is a real program to which people would give resources.
All it costs is time, and with enough money raised, that time becomes less of a burden.
The purpose is clear—the older generation, who often has more to give, will clearly be motivated to turn this program into a reality, as a common complaint among older Christians is that younger Christians are often leaving the faith in college.
The purpose, process, and need would be clearly outlined.
Then, you only need to name it: “The Mars Hill Academy Campaign.”
There you go.
You’re ready to process more donations this summer than any summer before.
And since the program continues year after year, the campaign is repeatable and the seasonal revenue becomes recurring year after year,
Don’t rely on checks, cash, and bank account transfers to raise money in the summer.
Make giving easy and relevant for your entire church.
You need to implement a digital giving platform such as Tithe.ly Giving.
You need to know how to set up a recurring giving program in your church.
Tithe.ly Giving allows you to:
Theory is great, but tactics are better. Especially when you need to grow revenue right now. Here are a few practical steps you can take to grow recurring givers:
Pastors are often timid in asking visitors to give (“let this service be our gift to you”), but this neglects two realities:
Giving forges a bond between the giver and the recipient.
The Bible calls that bond “partnership” (koinonia; Phil. 1:3-5).
This partnership enables further opportunities to share the gospel with the giver.
The resources enable you to continue doing ministry with the church.
And the precedent of asking non-Christians to give increases overall cashflow by an exponential factor, which only enables you to do what you do even better.
Businesses have a marketing budget.
Only failing businesses cut the marketing budget.
Thriving businesses advertise, promote, market, and get the word out.
During your next church event, instead of taking 100% of the cost out of the church budget, ask a business to sponsor it in exchange for an advertising presence.
Many franchise businesses set aside thousands of dollars for requests such as this.
Local businesses need to participate in church events like this because, for local businesses, reputation is everything.
Don’t be timid about asking a business to partner with you in order to subsidize event costs, which enables you to use that money elsewhere.
This is a very specific asks that your serious, devoted, wealthy members will need to take seriously if they buy into the value of the church’s work.
Make plans for the summer.
Make such meaningful, important, kingdom-expanding plans that you can’t go through a summer slump.
This doesn’t mean you should make commitments you are financially unable to keep.
It means you don’t take your foot off the gas in fear of a summer slump.
You push on the gas, turn toward your wealthy donors, and say: “We need to jump this cliff until we land in the Fall, full financial speed ahead.”
If you can sell them on the mission, you can keep your financial momentum.
Tithing is not an optional component of discipleship.
Giving is not a skill that only some are called to.
Tithing is an integral part of discipleship.
Teach what the Bible says about Tithing as a part of your Spring Sunday school class, and you could even take it as an opportunity to launch Tithe.ly Giving in your church so that people can sign up for automatic recurring giving before they head to Palm Beach.
This entire process may sound exhausting.
And it is.
Ministry can be exhausting.
But even more exhausting than fundraising is ministry under the duress of financial desperation. Don’t put your church in that situation. Your church members want to be part of a thriving church. Your church members want to give to something meaningful, important, and new.
All you have to do is follow these five steps, and you will stay ahead of the summer slog that forces so many churches to start their growth from scratch every August.
Get Tithe.ly Giving for those campaigns.