If you want to increase the giving in your congregation, consider these steps:
- Teach what the Bible teaches. It is clear God expects believers to give cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7), regularly (1 Cor 16:2), and sacrificially (Mark 12:41-44). If we don’t teach this mandate intentionally and passionately, our congregations aren’t likely to give well.
- Model sacrificial giving. My wife and I live by the philosophy that we should give to God’s work until it hurts – that is, until it stretches us our faith. Only then am I comfortable challenging others to give more.
- Passionately and clearly cast a God-sized vision for your congregation. God’s people are not opposed to giving; they are opposed to supporting a weak or unclear purpose.
- Teach budgeting and spending – not just giving. I’m amazed by how many of my students operate without a budget or already have crippling debt. God’s people will give more to His work if we help them first learn to budget and spend well.
- Train children and students to give. I give today because my first pastor taught me to do so. From my first paycheck as a grocery stocker at age 16 to today, I still hear my pastor say, “Give God the first part, and trust Him with the rest.”
- Promote incremental increases. Challenge your members to increase their giving incrementally, perhaps by a certain percentage each year. Even an extra $5.00 per family per week can strengthen your church’s work.
- Talk unashamedly about giving in your church’s membership class. Some new believers won’t know much about giving, and longer-term believers may want to know more about the church’s budget, etc. If you ignore this topic in your membership class, you’ll miss an opportunity.
- Tell the stories of changed lives. If you want your church to give more, show them what God is doing through the church. Ministries themselves seldom attract more dollars, but changed people do.
- Lead your church to drip with financial integrity. Review your church’s process for receiving and distributing funds. The work we do is God’s work, and anything less than absolute integrity will lack His blessing.
- Challenge the church with a “Day of Sacrificial Giving.” Invite your church members to give one week more than they’ve ever given. Some will develop a pattern of increased giving from this one challenge.
- Increase ways that members may give. Long gone are the days when offering envelopes were the primary (and only) way to give. Include online giving, phone apps, and bank drafts as options.
- Preach an annual emphasis on stewardship. Don’t limit your messages to money, but don’t shy away from talking about money, either. Build it in to messages about stewarding our time, gifts, and dollars.
- Say “thank you.” And, say it more often than just the end-of-the-year giving report for tax purposes. Consider even handwriting a certain number of notes each year.
- Pray regularly about the church’s giving. Build this topic into your prayer life by focusing on praying to develop sacrificial believers through your church. If we pray about giving only when we’re in a financial crisis, we shouldn’t be surprised by the crisis.*
What other ideas would you add?
*Some of these ideas first appeared in a Lawless blog at www.thomrainer.com.