We’re in a season of spending. Christmas is quickly approaching and the commercial side of the holiday is in full swing. From Black Friday to Small Business Saturday to Cyber Monday, stores are gearing up for an influx of shoppers looking for that “perfect gift.”
However (at the risk of sounding a little cheesy), that’s not the reason for the season.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the festivities. With all the parties, family gatherings, decorating, and your never ending to-do list, it’s hard to find a time to take a break and reflect. This is why it’s so important that you provide your church with opportunities to take a break from all the spending to give back.
Whether you’re dedicating an entire sermon series to generosity or briefly speaking about it during announcements, here are 5 ways you can increase engagement in giving this holiday season.
1. Be Specific
Ask your church to give to a specific fund.
Maybe your church uses this time of year to partner with a local outreach program. Perhaps you’re raising funds to purchase extra items for the local food bank. Or maybe you’re partnering with a local homeless shelter to provide meals and needed hygiene products. Are you using this time of year to focus on church specific initiatives? Like raising funds for a 2021 church plant, supporting missionaries from your church who are overseas, or building renovations.
Whether you ask your congregation to give to general tithes, a Christmas offering, or an initiative to support a local outreach organization, be direct with where your givers should donate and where the money is going.
2. Make sure your church knows how to give
You probably feel like a broken record on repeat telling your church each Sunday that they can donate online, through the mobile app, at a kiosk, through text to give or by using the offering plate. First, let me say bravo. While some of your church may have memorized all your giving platforms, there are still many sitting in the congregation that are hearing this message for the first time. It’s important to repeat this message.
However while it’s important to share all of the ways someone can donate all of the time, there are some moments when focusing on one specific giving method encourages giving participation even more. This strategy is especially effective during the year end giving season.
For example, if you want to help your congregation start 2021 off in healthy discipleship, highlight recurring gifts. Encourage your donors to set up a recurring transaction through their online giving account to support church missionaries or your campaign to raise funds for a new campus in 2021. Emphasize frequent, small amounts to give each month or week.
Or perhaps your year-end giving effort isn’t about longevity, but meeting the immediate needs in the community. Highlight utilizing text to give to donate funds for the local homeless shelter or food bank. Emphasize this the whole week (both in Sunday service, through emails, and on your church’s social media accounts) to make text to give the primary channel for this one time offering.
A comprehensive giving platform is important for strong, year round giving. If you want long term growth in your giving, this is crucial. After all, everyone in your church is different and they like to give in different ways (online, from their phone, at a kiosk, by check, etc). But when it comes to a short, year-end initiative, it can be easier to communicate by simplifying. When you ask your church to donate to a specific year-end cause, give them one specific way in which they can make their gift through either online giving, a mobile app, text to give, a giving kiosk, or through the offering plate.
3. Make giving reachable and fun
Everyone is at a different stage in their giving journey. And because of this, everyone’s giving is going to look a bit different. You’ll have some people who give over 10% of their income on a steady basis. Others will give actively but not regularly. A few will be giving for the first time. And still some have not yet begun to understand their call to give.
With this in mind, make giving reachable and fun for everyone. Consider presenting your church with a giving challenge like “skip something, give something.” Encourage them to skip one of their morning Starbucks lattes and give that $5 to the church instead. Or instead of spending $20 for a drive thru dinner, challenge them to cook at home and give that $20 to the Christmas initiative instead.
Share numbers and practical ways that their giving is making an impact. By encouraging small steps and presenting fun ways to give, you’re helping your church body take their next steps in their giving journey.
4. God multiples
It’s been a hard year for everyone but some of us have felt a hit more than others. Remind your church that no gift is too small. We see how God can multiple our gifts time and time again in the bible. From the widow’s offering in Mark 12:41-44 to the oil never running dry in 1 Kings 17:1-16 to Jesus multiplying a little boy’s lunch to feed 5,000 people in Matthew 14:13-21, we see God’s willingness and ability to meet needs and multiply what we bring to Him time and time again.
Let your church know that no gift is too small. God multiplies what we bring to Him to accomplish more than we ever dreamed possible.
5. Preach about Giving
It can be uncomfortable to talk about money and generosity to pretty much anyone. Add in the pressures of being a church leader talking to an auditorium full of people and the overwhelming task of planning for year-end in your church and this task seems impossible.
Despite the discomfort, it is critical that you talk to your church about these topics. The Lord has placed a specific calling on you as a church leader to help shepherd His flock. And part of this calling is directing the flock in the ways they should go, including embracing stewardship and generosity. The truth of the matter is that if your church doesn’t understand the biblical principles behind why they should give, odds are they aren’t going to give faithfully.
At SecureGive, we understand how hard it can be to find a tactful way to preach about giving this time of year. After all, just because it’s important to do it, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Don’t worry, we have just the thing for you. We’ve partnered with money and generosity expert, Art Rainer to bring you a FREE 3 part sermon series specifically designed to talk about year-end generosity. It’s centered around the verse we all know, John 3:16 and focuses on what we can learn from God’s greatest sacrifice, giving us His Son. We believe this free sermon series will be a powerful tool for thousands of churches this Christmas season. Click here for your free resource that includes the sermon outlines, graphics, and a small group discussion to go along with the series.
In this time of year when our default focus is on spending and getting, it’s important to remind your congregation of the importance of giving. Provide your church with opportunities to take a break from the holiday spending to give instead. Leverage these 5 methods to redirect the focus from the end-of-year sales, shopping trips, and Christmas lists to opportunities in which your church can make a meaningful impact.