There’s a common misconception that work and ministry in the church is limited to Sundays. As you, and anyone who has worked in full-time ministry or actively served in their church knows, that’s far from true. Whether your church doors are still closed due to COVID-19, you’ve begun to re-open, or it’s back to business as usual, there is one important but often overlooked thing that is guaranteed to encourage and increase generosity.
Tell people about the ministry your church is doing.
It may sound obvious, but it’s something most churches simply don’t do. It’s important to tell people how ministry is happening inside and outside of your church building. And, through that ministry, how needs are being met and lives are being changed.
The reality is there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into both the Sunday and weekday ministries of your church. Even with online services, there is a ton of time and manpower that goes into creating them. Share behind the scenes stories of your team prepping throughout the week or stories of life change happening as a result of your online adult and/or children’s ministry content. Share news of baptisms and recently accepted salvation as well.
Since ministry doesn’t only happen on Sundays, share the work you’re doing during the week also. Does your church support a local food pantry? Do you provide meals for disadvantaged students in the community? Are you supporting missionaries in foreign countries? Are you hosting online worship nights on Facebook Live? Is your church serving those who would be considered high risk if they contracted COVID-19 by grocery shopping for them?
These are all ways that your church is still doing ministry that your members and attendees may not be aware of. But, don’t just stop at telling what your church is doing, share how it is impacting lives. Invite your attendees into an opportunity to financially contribute to life change. Yes, it cost money to keep the lights on. But life change is why your ministry exists and it’s something believers want to contribute to.
Here’s a simple truth: people are more likely to begin or continue to financially support a ministry, even in the midst of uncertainty, when they are constantly reminded of the life changing work being done.
But what’s the best way to tell your donors about the different ways ministry is happening?
“Meet them where they are” – sounds like the worst thing you can do in the midst of a highly contagious, viral pandemic, right? To clarify, meet them where they are, digitally. Having a well-maintained and updated website is important. And having a user friendly mobile app can be helpful. But, where are they already spending their time, digitally?
No matter how much traffic your website and mobile app may generate, the people in your church don’t live there. So, when talking digital, where do most people tend to live? In three places:
- Social Media
- Their phone (text messaging and calling)
If you are going to successfully stay connected to your church members and attendees, connecting with them at these touch points is a must. Continue to utilize your church website and mobile app, but also connect by email, social media, and directly by phone or text. Be frequent and be consistent. Everyone’s inbox and phone is overflowing with COVID-19 updates. So, while you don’t want to overwhelm, you do want to consistently connect with your church by at least 2 of these touch points every week.
Whether your church is still having online only services or you’re beginning the transition of going back to in-person services, meet every church member and donor where they already are. Share what ministry is happening and how it’s changing lives. Start now, but continue this practice even after the pandemic is over. Your attendees and donors will know the many ways your church, and their donations, are impacting the Kingdom of God.
For more practical ways to encourage generosity in this season, download the free ebook, Church Giving and Social Distancing: 9 Keys to Keep Your Giving Strong.