Creating Giving Processes To Inspire Generosity & Relationships
How can giving reports and financial data tell a compelling story? Because numbers represent people. Dr. Jeremiah Betron, the operations pastor at Irving Bible Church, has a passion for church administration and operations. In this episode, he shares specific strategies he’s employed that allow givers to see the impact of their giving. In doing so, he explains how his church builds a meaningful relationship with each giver at IBC.
Annual Reports With Impact
From tithing and gifting to attendance and baptisms, an annual report for a church can tell the story of how God worked through a congregation, and where he’s taking that church next. For IBC, annual reports are opportunities to capture the heart of their church and show the impact their congregation has made throughout the year. Their annual report even includes a letter from the senior pastor; in 2019, the pastor wrote, “Throughout the scripture, God invites his people to remember where they’ve been and what he has done for them. And in so doing to celebrate the God who is always present, always faithful, and always working… I hope you’ll be encouraged and excited about what God has next for us.”
Where the report shows the tangible ways that IBC has transformed lives—from their impact on the city, baptisms and youth retreats, to where the church is financially —Jeremiah emphasizes that these achievements are, “because of the generosity of our people who gave sacrificially and gave joyfully to the work of the ministry of this church.”
Beyond the end-of-year report, IBC also has its annual audit on its website, because Jeremiah believes transparency in finances is critical. “We’re not ashamed or hiding it. We have nothing to hide.” He knows that people are making sacrifices when they give because they want to see the Kingdom advance and the gospel shared. The numbers that make up the audit and the end-of-year report show not what they have done but what God has done, and what he’s continuing to do in their community. But the end-of-year report isn’t the only way for IBC to express gratitude to their givers.
Building Relationships Through Giving
Jeremiah says that it felt like the Lord blessed IBC for much of its 60-year history, and that the gifts would come very easily. But although their community had open hearts and was ready to give, IBC didn’t have a clear system to receive or respond to those gifts. That’s why Jeremiah brought in a consultant to develop a strategy for organizing and following up on the generosity the church has received.
His primary focus in the system was creating a follow-up process for donors. As a church, they knew they needed to share their gratitude—but how do they respond? And how do they keep givers engaged? For IBC, they knew if someone gave a second time, it showed commitment. So they created a process to follow up with second-time givers, to thank them and specifically show what their gift is going toward. In Jeremiah’s words, “This is how your finances are being used for the advancement of the gospel.” And that transparency and gratitude have continued to grow the spirit of generosity at IBC.
The flip side of monitoring and thanking new givers is continuing your relationship with long-term givers. Jeremiah notes that if you’re not monitoring for lapsed givers, you’ll potentially lose them or miss important things in their life. On one occasion, Jeremiah reached out to a lapsed giver to ask how things were going; he responded that his wife had left, and he couldn’t continue to give. Jeremiah then had the opportunity to sit and share this life moment with his brother in Christ. Church leadership entered life with him and made sure he was plugged into the community during this dramatic change in his life. Through it all, they loved him and supported him.
“It’s not about the dollars.” Jeremiah says. “I don’t care about the dollars. We’re not in a money-making business. We’re in a life-transformation business.”
We know you care deeply about leading a healthy, growing church because it means leading more people to Jesus. With systems in place to receive gifts, respond with gratitude, and maintain relationships, your church will be able to change even more lives. Pushpay helps churches connect and engage with their community through church management software, digital giving, and custom apps. Find out how Pushpay can help your church transform even more lives.