Special offerings collected during Christmas time by the Church has led to the advancement of the gospel, support of the local church and para-church organizations, and the well-being of people all around the world. Said another way, collecting a special offering during Christmas is a great way you and your church can participate in God’s work by providing financial support.
To help your church rally together this Christmas in collecting an offering above and beyond your general giving, here are six steps you’ll need to take.
Before you get started, the first two steps serve as the foundation, whereas the last four steps provide you with the practical tactics (pillars) you can build upon a solid foundation built upon Jesus Christ.
#1. Lead people to Jesus
The key to building to building a generous church culture is to lead people to Jesus, and Christmas is an excellent time of the year to make this connection.
Jesus is a giver, and he gave us the ultimate gift: His life.
This Christmas, lead your church to Jesus by reminding them of the most significant gift God has given to every single one of us. The gift of his only son, Jesus Christ.
#2. Connect giving to discipleship
Giving is not about giving per se. Giving is used by God to grow us in Christ.
Help the people of your church to capture God’s vision for them in giving.
Show them how God uses giving to kill our dependency upon giving and to lead us to a greater trust in him.
Let your church know that giving is a way they can participate in God’s work through the church.
Tell them stories of the lives transformed by God through the work of the church, which was supported by their giving.
#3. Identify a compelling need
Is there a compelling need you can meet in your community? Does your church have the opportunity to support a church plant financially? Are there missionaries you can help support at the end of the year?
Before making plans for a special offering during Christmas, it’s important to tie together your plans for meeting a need. Give your church the opportunity to make an eternal difference in the lives of others this Christmas.
#4. Create a communication plan
How are you going to inform your church about the special offering you are going to collect during Christmas? This is where creating a communication plan comes into place.
If you’re in need of help in this area, then be sure to check out How to Quickly Create a Communication Strategy for Your Church.
In the meantime, here are tactics you can consider to help you spread the word:
- Make an announcement
- Share a testimony (live or via video)
- Send an email to your church
- Include the special offering on your website
- Share it on social media
- Include it in your bulletin
And possibly the most important point on communication, plan on sharing this special offering more than one time, which leads us to the next step.
#5. Celebrate along the way
During December, make plans to celebrate your progress along the way. For example, if your goal is to raise $10,000 to support a missionary, then considering sharing with people the following on a weekly basis:
- How much has been given toward the goal
- How many individuals and families have participated
- How this money will make a difference
- Express thanks
For this last point, it’s always a good idea to connect what is given to how it will make a specific difference.
#6. Make it mobile, any time, and anywhere
The last thing you want to do is make it difficult to give after you've found a great cause/campaign/purpose/program, put together a rockin' communication plan, and gotten the church fired up for what God is going to do.
Simply put, be sure your online giving tools make giving on a mobile device incredible simple and be sure people can give at any time, whether in or out of church!
#7. Follow up in 2018
How many times have you seen a sweepstake or entered a sweepstake but never saw who won? In the same way, it’s essential to celebrate at the end how much money was raised (even if you didn’t hit your goal) and how this made a difference.
If possible, encourage members of your church to share their testimony of how it made a difference in their life to participate in the work of the church through giving.
Also, don’t forget to mail handwritten thank you notes or an email expressing your appreciation.
Do you have plans to raise a special offering this Christmas? Share what you’re up to in the comments below!