3 Obstacles to Giving Your Church Should Avoid This Year
April 9, 2019 |
Every Easter service, you have the highest attendance you’ll see all year. There are more members present on that day because while many people attend church sporadically, it’s easy to prioritize important services like Easter.
Not to mention, their friends and family are more open to joining them. Even those who don’t attend services normally attend on Easter weekend because they want to spend this time with their loved ones, and see church as simply part of the Easter experience.
It’s the biggest opportunity you’ll have all year to share the gospel with people who probably haven’t heard it and help bolster your members’ faith in Christ and His work on the cross.
It’s also one of your ministry’s biggest giving opportunity. Even if you explicitly ask visitors not to give, you have more members in the room than you’ll have at any other time this year. Which is why it’s important that your church removes any obstacles that make giving difficult or uncomfortable.
Here are three obstacles to giving that your church should address before Easter or during the service.
1. Not understanding the spiritual significance of giving
For those outside the church, ritualistically giving away your money seems strange. Many people also come to church armed with the assumption that you just want their money. Even for your members, giving can be uncomfortable because it’s so personal, and if your church doesn’t talk about it often, they may not know or understand the spiritual importance of generosity or the biblical basis of tithing.
You can alleviate that discomfort and confusion by talking about why God wants us to give. It’s easy to feel like we’ve worked hard for everything we have, but the reality is it all belongs to God. We’re just His stewards. God expects us to use our resources in ways that advance His kingdom, His priorities, and His desires. And ultimately, our desires should be more like His.
This explanation doesn’t have to take up too much time during this important service. It’s as easy as explaining that we’re giving back to God a portion of what He has given to us, and we’re entrusting the church to use that money in ways that God desires.
A large part of helping people grasp the spiritual significance of giving is simply teaching it. Discover how your church can encourage health generosity this Easter and beyond. Download the free ebook, Teaching Your Church To Give, today.
2. An unclear connection between money and ministry
It’s unwise to make an investment in something if you don’t know where your money is going. Similarly, before we buy things, we want to know exactly what we’re getting, so we can decide if it’s worth the cost. This is part of the challenge of giving: It’s hard to see how exactly your hard-earned dollars translate to lives saved, meals served, and evangelism carried out.
You’re not going to crack open the spreadsheets and breakdown your church budget every time you ask people to give, but it helps if you can help them understand the tangible good that comes from their gifts. Even if the bulk of giving goes toward salaries, you can talk about the ministry that happens as a result of the work your staff does each week.
Help your congregation see that church isn’t just something that happens on weekends. It’s a body of believers, working together to change their corner of the world through the power, truth, and love of the gospel.
You might also consider doing a special offering for a specific project or organization outside of your church, such as a partner ministry in another country or a local parachurch organization.
This can encourage members and visitors alike to give because it goes directly toward something they can easily see the importance and value of. It also builds trust in future giving efforts, because people see that you’re more interested in encouraging people to live generously than convincing them to give to your church. Communicate that clearly and often during your giving talks.
That may sound like a lot to explain—especially during a service where every minute counts—but the reality is with just a sentence or two you can do a lot to put people’s minds at ease. “We believe giving is important because___. When you give here, your generosity supports___.”
3. The inconvenience of giving cash or checks
People have probably been bringing cash or checks to your church for as long as it’s been around. But the problem is, today your church is one of the few places where people are still expected to use cash or checks.
Many of the people in your congregation may exclusively write checks to give to your church. Some people may only stop at the ATM on their way to your weekend service. People are simply carrying less cash and writing fewer checks. If your church is still asking people to use these increasingly outdated methods to give, you’re creating a barrier to generosity.
Modern financial transactions happen digitally, with cards and direct deposits. And if your church truly wants people to give what they’re able, when they’re able, you need a way for people to give just like they do everything else: online.
A mobile giving app like Pushpay allows anyone to give online for the first time in 30 seconds or less, and it’s even faster the second time. Not only that, but Pushpay makes recurring giving a breeze, so that future giving happens automatically—which is hands down the most convenient way to give. (Plus, it works the way most people handle their regular expenses.)
But digital giving removes another barrier related to the inconvenience of cash and checks: People don’t have to physically be at your church to give. So for instance, if you expect your live stream to be more popular on Easter, digital giving would allow all those people to participate in the offering, even if they couldn’t attend in person.
Nurture generosity this Easter
Giving doesn’t have to be awkward. It doesn’t have to feel obligatory. This can be a time for your congregation to choose to partner with you in ministry, give to God, and experience the freedom of living generously. And you can facilitate that moment by making it easier to give, and showing people why it matters.
To discover how other churches are nurturing generosity and actively removing barriers this Easter, check out the free ebook, Teaching Your Church To Give, today.