Some devout missionary friends of our family are in the Middle East now. We subscribe to their newsletters via email. And we value their commitment to doing the work of the Lord in the middle of this cold winter, in uncertain Covid-19 conditions, and wait for it … with such joy! They’re the epitome of go, and make more disciples! If you’ve ever gone on a mission trip or served abroad, you’ve likely experienced the gift of receiving monetary support from your church, friends, and family. Not all of us are called to go serve in a foreign country mission field. But we are all called to make disciples. While there are a variety of ways to make disciples, sometimes we can help make disciples by financially supporting those who are being the hands and feet of Christ.
Of course, it’s very hard to reach your community properly without biblical stewardship. Stewardship is a touchy subject in churches today. It’s something pastors often don’t like to preach about. But, as highlighted in the Know and Grow Ministry Guide, it’s inevitable. And here are 5 ways to unleash a spirit of generosity in your church:
- Introduce your members to online giving. Tell them what it is, why your church is choosing to offer members the ability to give electronically, and why it benefits the church.
- Lead by example. The churches that see a large percentage of their members give electronically are those whose pastors and staff members give electronically as well. When the pastor gets up in front of members and says, “this is the way your church leadership is giving,” it sets the tone.
- Keep the idea of online giving in front of your church. Include verbiage in your bulletin about online giving. Tell your members how to give electronically. Whether it’s on your church website, through your mobile app, a kiosk in the lobby, or via text-to-give.
- Keep it coming. Don’t just limit your communication to one week. Keep it constant. The communication shouldn’t be limited to just a bulletin. Make it part of everything you do. Emails, letters, text messages, call campaigns, social media, etc. (We’ll dive more into this in a minute). Make sure your members are being made aware multiple times in different mediums. Tell them about online giving being a way to give their tithes and offerings.
- Make it personal. When someone gives electronically for the first time, have your executive pastor write a handwritten note to that member. In an age of electronic communication, a personal note goes a long way.
It’s no secret that online giving is becoming more prominent in our churches. Primarily because of the Covid-19 pandemic we faced in 2020 and are starting to see recycling itself again right now. If the pandemic did one thing for churches, it forced them to think about continuing to receive tithes and offerings from its members while not physically meeting on campus each week. If you don’t already offer online giving, please let us encourage you to do so in order to help you articulate your vision and then fund where God wants you to go or what God wants you to do in a given situation.
When you encourage biblical stewardship. Church growth will then occur as we will be able to live out evangelism, outreach and discipleship. The most important aspect of giving is that people give with a cheerful heart. Don’t forget that. Preach it. Let God lead you in this. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7
How do you plan to focus on knowing your community better in 2022? The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to start something new and fresh. This blog references the new and helpful Know and Grow Ministry Guide (as it’s the time of year when people are hungry for the Gospel- maybe now more than ever- and we shouldn’t be complacent.
Know your community. Rely on sources of data to help you deploy strategies for meaningful growth in your church. And, to make it even easier and so you don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources, you can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!
Chris serves as the Vice President of MinistryPlatform, which provides the most powerful and flexible Church Management System for membership, group involvement, check-scanning, contributions, event management, check-in, and public website integration – including online giving and online event registration. He leads the team finding new ways to help the Church engage with people by using information.
Chris was CEO of Think Ministry / MinistryPlatform before merging with ACS Technologies in April 2021.