Creating a Culture Of
The key to ongoing, increasing, and unfettered contributions to your ministry is found not in the next gimmick, campaign, or “drive.” The key to unlocking limitless potential is cultivating a healthy culture. This takes work, but with a little help, and a mastery of the 5 most important components, your church will move from just enough to more than enough.
#1 DON’T BE SCARED
We’ve found that the biggest mistake church leaders make when dealing with giving is not talking about it. Frankly, they just aren’t comfortable talking about it. Not only should you talk about it, but you should also talk about it in a way that challenges people. A challenge should motivate someone out of their desire, not out of fear—big difference.
Challenge them to rise to the occasion. Don’t be afraid to invite your church to give. They see value in your ministry and will accept that challenge to support your efforts.
#2 MAKE IT CLEAR
Try as you might, no one will want to hear a word you’re saying if you’re not authentic and transparent.
It’s simple, err on the side of over disclosure. Your members may not know the financial needs of your ministry, and visitors may not even know the complete picture of your church’s mission and vision.
More than sharing your church books, being real about what you need and why you need it is a huge motivating factor for people to get involved. Simply knowing (for example) that you need $5,000 per special event is not compelling. But knowing that you have people on staff that care for your kids, manage the facility and prepare it with flowers for special services, develop teaching and preaching materials to reach both an in-person and online audience and that they need our faithful support to do their important work, now that’s compelling.
#3 TELL THE “WHY”
It’s hard to give when you are unsure of the benefit of your gift. Your members may be aware of your ministry needs, but take time to remind them of your ministry goals and what is needed to reach those goals.
Visitors to your church will benefit from hearing about your needs and feel more inclined to support the good work you are doing in your community and beyond.
Reporting can sound boring to some, but it can hold power to motivate more than you might think. When you provide people with information about their giving and how it ties into the bigger picture, it empowers them to engage in meaningful ways.
#4 EMPOWER PEOPLE
It feels good to be in charge of your destiny.
You will have visitors and members ready to give, but will you have ways that empower them to give not just by dropping something in the collection plate or mailing a check? Will you provide them with access to give not only on that Sunday but also regularly create healthy giving habits for a grateful heart?
Give them options. Don’t make giving complicated. Provide easy options to give that include cash or check, by text, or online. Be sure to communicate these options to your members and visitors in person by using pew cards, bulletin inserts, or slide announcements.
#5 THINK BEYOND
Connect the dots between giving and impact. Thinking beyond one service is paramount. Tell stories that matter. Provide meaningful statistics. Instead of saying you raised $1000 for the homeless, tell them you gave warm meals to 100 homeless, men, women and children. Find new ways to say the same things.
As the church evolves, as goals are met, as needs change, and as mission and vision crystalize, re-calibrate your talking points but stay on message. The message is, their generosity is making a real impact in the lives of their neighbors. Their generosity is leaving a legacy. And that their lives are more full of joy and fulfillment because they decided to make a difference.
One last thing…
Giving isn’t limited to those within your walls. Be sure to communicate the same information and opportunities to your online audience. Welcoming them to give and serve may be the key that opens the door for an online visitor to become an in-person disciple of your church.
When people live and engage in church-life from their hearts and minds, instead of their habits and mandates, your church will reap considerable benefits in the form of increased, ongoing, and bountiful resources provided by cheerful givers.