In the church world, the importance of giving can never be underestimated. It is hard for a church to accomplish its mission and goals if giving is not where it needs to be. Every pastor has worked on a church budget before and has probably spent hours with a finance committee deciding what to cut or add for the year. The key to any church’s growth is being smart with the resources God has given and to focus as much of the budget on outreach and missions as possible.
Everyone knows the statistics on giving in the average church, which is very troubling. In a world where the average family is handcuffed by debt, you can at least understand it. If people don’t have money, they can’t give! However, there are others who have the ability to give and choose to hold onto it. For the local pastor, when giving is down it can have a negative effect on him and his ability to lead. So, what can a pastor do when giving is down and to guide his congregation to step up and support the ministry? Here are 6 thoughts to consider to grow online giving in your church.
1) Be strategic in preaching on tithing.
There is a proper balance to talking about what the Bible says about giving. If you talk too much about it, then you are labeled as someone who only wants money. If you don’t talk about it all, you are missing some valuable Scripture that your congregation needs to hear.
2) Model giving to your church.
As the under-shepherd of the church, you have a responsibility to protect and lead your church in many things. You cannot ask your congregation to step up if you are not giving yourself. According to Scripture, this should be giving a 10% tithe and anything above that is an offering. Lead by example in this critical area of faith in God.
3) Focus dollars outside the church.
This is difficult for some church members to understand. It is easy to point money inside the church walls to focus on internal needs. Certainly, these can be addressed at the right time, but missions giving is important as a church fulfills the Great Commission.
4) Be transparent about where the money is going.
Church members should hopefully have trust for leadership in all things, but people get super sensitive when it comes to money. The best way to combat this fear is to be as transparent as you can. This doesn’t necessarily mean you print all salaries for everyone to look at (a personnel or finance team should know), but give detail to why something is budgeted and it what it is going toward.
5) Regularly promote different ministry areas where budget money is being used.
This is important for members to see and it also serves as a gentle reminder to continue giving. People love to see how God is using their resources to make a difference for His Kingdom.
6) Promote and teach a financial stewardship class.
There are many resources out there that teach sound Biblical principles when it comes to money. If you have a tool that can help your members get out of debt, it will free them up to give more.
Lastly, we all need to remember that everything we have is God’s. One day, we will all give an account for how we used the resources God has given us. By using a few of these principles, hopefully your church can turn the corner and never have budget problems again. (Malachi 3:10)