“Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks about it, but everybody does something about it.” – Rebecca Johnson
The Summer Slump affects your money as much as your people. People travel with their tithes, and few double up when they come home. People take vacations, but bills don’t. There are no late fees on tithes. Money keeps ministries moving. God says, “…money answereth all things.” Eccl 10:19.
10 Ways to Fight the Low Tide of Summer Giving
1. Don’t Stress. It doesn’t help, and it makes you grumpy. You won’t fix your church’s money problems in an instant. Trust God, and do the right things. It will be ok.
2. God isn’t broke, but you can be broke without a plan. Plan early. Trusting God is one thing, and being foolish is another. Planning during summer for summer doesn’t work. It is impossible to make things harder for the Almighty, but not having a plan is a good way to try.
3. Free people give freely. Instill stewardship. Teach people about giving, saving, and the dangers of debt. The average American owes $15,162 to credit card companies, $147,967 to mortgage companies, and $33,445 on their student loans. Help them get free. Even if they don’t give to your church, it’s the right thing to do.
4. Don’t beg for money. It’s annoying. People give to your vision and not your need. #nuffsaid
5. Cutback, Jack. Can you live on less in the summer? Are there subscriptions or services you can suspend or cancel? Cut expenses when cash is still flowing. Maybe you can live without those things entirely.
6. Jesus Saves and so should you. Don’t live in fear, but use wisdom. If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right! -William Shatner
7. Let your church be The Church. Let people help. People want to help, even when they can’t give. There’s an army of retired saints with a little money and a lot of time who’d love to serve. Create ways for young people to earn experience by serving on projects you need done.
8. Target hearts, not wallets. Your heart spends your money. Disengagement is the main reason people stop giving to your church. An engaged heart leads to an engaged wallet. Use new media to keep people involved.
9. Unlock the digital doors of your ministry. Get a strategy for Digital Discipleship. If people can earn a college degree online, let them learn about Jesus online. Record a short weekly video and offer notes from Sunday’s message. It keeps people engaged.
10. People live online. Let them give online. Close to 4 out of 5 Americans go online everyday to shop, research, and communicate. People have their check books open at their computer. According to the 2007 Consumer Bill Payment Trends Survey, 74% of U.S. households pay at least one bill online. That was 6 years ago! Don’t keep someone who wants to give from giving because you use the same technology as the apostles.