There are many elements that make up a worship service that I cherish.
While I miss attending with my family in person, the silver lining is the many services that are easily accessible for viewing. Over coffee and breakfast, my family recently watched two services of churches where we have a connection.
Each of these services, while full of celebration, had a variety of styles of music and different elements. One pastor stood in the traditional pulpit, while another was in a temporary media space and a third outside. But one element that was consistently included and stood out to me was giving.
Allow Offering Time as Usual
Throughout all of the different services, they all paused to have an offering. I couldn’t help but wonder if giving in this electronic format would feel out of place.
One service offered music just as if the plate was being passed and the organ played traditional Doxology music just after. Another more contemporary service took a moment for the Pastor to offer a moment of giving. Whether it was a service with organs or outdoor guitars, they both stopped to have a dedicated giving time and neither felt out of place. They honored the time they would usually set aside for offerings even in their virtual worship service.
Provide Purpose for Giving
They all made it very clear how to give either online or by text. However, they went a step further. It has always been important to explain how money is being used within the church, especially for millennials who typically like to give for a purpose or cause. This is even more important right now when most finances are stretched thin.
Your congregation has many questions during this time of being out of our normal worship spaces. Here are some of the questions that I heard answered in the services which I thought were well communicated to give members a purpose behind their giving:
- What are the high-level changes happening within the church?
- Are all staff being retained? If so, how are some being repurposed?
- What are the local missions and outreach of the church? What projects can members currently support? This is everything from phone calls to items being donated and delivered.
- Is the church able to cut back and monitor other expenses? Be specific and clear. Include the bills of the church that still have to be paid. Let’s also not forget about bills to cover expenses prior to when the physical doors were closed.
Celebrate Needs being Fulfilled
One of the newsletters I received from a church shared how they were not going to send their typical magazine communication, but a specific donor has stepped forward to fund that distribution.
Another has shared the number of outreach calls to members to check on them by staff that typically had other roles. I liked knowing these needs were being met but also ever more so thankful for the role the church was having, and how I could help support this good work.
There is so much creativity and hard work from our client community in how they provide services, prayers, communication, and congregational care – while I may not have been able to watch your specific service, I thank you for continuing to shine your light.