Right now your church is switching gears. You’ve moved from fall ministry activities and Thanksgiving outreach to one of the biggest and most anticipated seasons of celebration.
Perhaps your church is known in the community for Christmas performances, caroling through neighborhoods, or candlelight services. Whatever you do, our team at SecureGive strongly encourages you to set aside time for a Christmas offering during your service.
The people in your church (and those visiting) want to give back. They are eager to meet needs and improve people’s lives. They also know how enriching and meaningful it can be for them personally to give back, and they know that’s what the spirit of this season is all about. So don’t underestimate the power of an offering moment focused around this time of year.
SecureGive is fortunate to serve thousands of local churches who value biblical generosity. The tips below are based on our experience serving these churches as they empower and grow their year-end giving. Here are three reasons your church should have a Christmas offering and three best practices for administering this offering.
3 Reasons for a Christmas Offering
Reason 1: People are used to giving in this season.
There is no denying that giving opportunities and donations rise during the months of November and December. This is a regular cycle for generosity within the United States. And, it’s not present within just one specific area.
Whether it is universities, hospitals, charities, non-profits, or local churches, people anticipate that they will be asked to give. And in this season, people tend to respond to these giving opportunities more than usual. The reality is, the people within your congregation are going to give somewhere during the holiday season. The question then becomes, will it be to your local church? SecureGive wants it to be your church. But it won’t be without a Christmas offering.
The reality is, the people within your congregation are going to give somewhere during the holiday season. The question then becomes, will it be to your local church?
Churches across the nation experience immense giving growth because of their Christmas offering. For example, a church in Georgia that uses SecureGive told us that their total overall giving is 2 ½ times more in December compared to other months. Another church in North Carolina told us that 17% of their annual donation receipts come in during December. Imagine the kind of growth your church can see too.
Reason 2: Generosity and the Gospel go hand in hand.
Out of His great love for us, God sent His Son Jesus into the world. Sometimes we forget how profound and simple this Truth really is. Our Savior, King Jesus, was sent into the world by God the Father. He was born fully man and fully God, and would eventually give His life as a ransom for many.
We (humanity) had a problem that we ultimately could not solve on our own. God, motivated by love, initiated a rescue plan for humanity by sending His son into the world. God made a way for us to be restored into a right relationship with Him forever. We didn’t do anything to earn His love. His love occurred before our belief. This love is a deep, costly love. Yet, He gives it freely.
As you present people with an opportunity to give this Christmas, remind them that generosity and the Gospel go hand in hand. We don’t give to gain an identity. In fact, we don’t give to gain anything. We give from the place of first receiving. Everything that we give has already been first given to us, in love, by God. Everything that we give should be motivated by love. Let’s motivate people to undeservingly love others as they have been undeservingly loved by God.
Let’s motivate people to undeservingly love others as they have been undeservingly loved by God.
Reason 3: There are practical needs that can be met in your community.
Is your church known as a generous church within your local community? Would the community mourn your church’s absence if you ceased to exist? This is why providing opportunities for your congregation to give back is so important.
For many of us, the holiday season brings to light the overwhelming amount of needs in our community. Our neighbors may be dealing with food insecurities. Single parents could be struggling to stretch finances. The homeless desperately need warm coats and a new pair of shoes.
When you provide opportunities for people to give, your church will collectively meet large needs within your local community. In turn, great things can happen. Needs can and WILL be met.
Now that we’ve talked about why a Christmas offering is important, let’s go over 3 practices to ensure a Christmas offering is successful.
3 Best Practices for Your Christmas Offering
Practice 1: Seek 100% participation.
A Christmas offering is an opportunity for people to grow in their faith through giving. Remind your congregation that God cares more about the heart behind giving than the amount we give.
Encourage everyone to participate in the Christmas offering to honor 2 Corinthians 9:7, which says, “Each should give as they have decided in their hearts to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion.” A $10 gift and a $1 million dollar gift are the same in God’s eyes. What differentiates the two is the heart of the giver when making the gift. Prayerfully seek Ephesians 3:20-21 and believe that God will do immeasurably more than you could imagine with the offerings that are brought forth this Christmas.
Practice 2: Communicate at least two Sundays prior about the Christmas offering.
To have a successful and meaningful Christmas offering, you need to allow people the ability to prepare. Not just prayerfully about what amount to give, but to also prepare their hearts to meet the need cheerfully and in a posture of worship.
To this end, prepare and communicate ahead of time. Share at least two Sundays prior (including the weeks leading up to the Christmas offering) about this specific offering. Communicate the need that you will be meeting and what it will take financially to meet the need. Share scripture and make discipleship a priority as you prepare their hearts.
Practice 3: Make this offering distinctly different from other offerings.
Your Christmas services are distinctly different from other weekend services throughout the year. In the same way, we encourage you to make your Christmas offering unique and different from other offering moments that you provide throughout the year.
- Make this moment meaningful by bringing a different creative element or approach to it. Here are a few of our favorite ways to do this:
- Incorporate a special prayer during the offering.
- Invite people to say the prayer together.
- Ask your worship team to play a “special” during the Christmas offering moment.
- Invite people to bring their gifts and offerings forward in a unique way during the service (like a gift box in the back of the sanctuary).
- Ask a pastor to share scripture with a demonstration.
- Encourage the creative team to make a special video for this offering.
Whatever you decide, make this moment unique for your local church. Adding in an element of surprise and something new will help to break up the typical weekly routine that people are used to.
The Christmas season is a time to remember the Greatest Gift ever given- God sending His Son, Jesus, into the world. It’s also a time to embrace generosity as individuals and as a community of believers. Invite your church to take part in the true reason for the season, celebrating the generosity God gave to us through Jesus. Let us join together to give back to God as He so faithfully gives to us.