Giving is crucial to the survival and growth of any church today. This is often not the easiest subject for a pastor to address to his or her membership, but it is one that needs prayerful and spirit-led guidance in the right timing of the message. In today’s economic culture, the average church member is struggling in his or her giving of tithes and offerings. To this point, the average church member gives about 2% to the church. This low number has its effect on the ministry of the church and what the church can accomplish with its mission and vision.
So, how does the pastor tackle this troubling issue? Here are several proven methods from pastors who have had success in increased giving and keeping their membership committed to their mission:
1) The senior pastor has to be clear when sharing about the mission and vision of the church. Today’s churchgoers don’t just give money, they want to know their sacrifice is going to a greater cause and is making a difference.
2) Healthy stewardship involves a strategy of clear communication to your membership. This would include preaching through the Bible, marketing, and goal-setting.
3) Buy-in by your leadership. This is important on the staff level as well as for your lay leaders. By the time you roll out a stewardship campaign or annual budget, many in your church will already be on board and excited about giving.
4) Provide easy ways for your membership to give. Gone is the day of giving only by dropping money in the plate. Have alternative ways of giving even when people are away from church by giving online. People love convenience and don’t always have cash or a checkbook these days.
5) Tackle the subject from a different angle by offering financial classes for your congregation. Financial Peace University is a great class to help people improve their decision making with finances and getting on a budget. The more out of debt your people are, the more they can freely give to the church.
A healthy church is defined by several key characteristics. The most important is Christ-centered worship. Another important one is a group of people who love to give. Because of what God gave to us through His Son, we have a responsibility to give and be better stewards of the resources God has given us. May you lead your congregation by modeling what healthy stewardship looks like and may your church follow that example.