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How to Win Over the Skeptical Giver

Most of us have that person in our church we would describe as a “skeptical giver.” Maybe they were part of a church that mishandled finances in the past. Maybe they have a misconstrued understanding of why people give to churches. Maybe distrust is their default position on any organization or person.

Whatever the cause may be, they rarely give and regularly sow words of skepticism among members about the church’s finances.

What do you do with such a person? How can you win over the skeptical giver? Here are a few thoughts that may help:

1. Show the process.

Offer to discuss the entire financial process, from collection to budget.

Skeptical givers usually believe that the church’s financial processes are filled with negligence or corrupt practices.

Skeptical givers usually believe that the church’s financial processes are filled with negligence or corrupt practices. Dispel any of these ideas by showing the skeptical giver that the church follows trustworthy protocols. Show the process.

2. Show the progress.

Skeptical givers often assume that the church is in a downward financial spiral and that very few decisions are being made to correct the problem.

Ask the individual what area concerns them most. Compare the current finances to past finances. If the numbers do demonstrate a downturn, explain what is being done to address the downturn. Show the progress.

3. Show the impact.

Numbers tell a story.

Numbers tell a story.

Each line item in a budget represents a portion of the church’s mission. While it is good to show the process and progress to the skeptical giver, showing the impact is more important.

Discuss how God is using the gifts given to the church to make a difference in the community and around the world. Share stories of people coming to Christ, broken marriages being restored, and other incredible works God is doing through the church. Show the impact.

4. Show the need.

Once you have told the skeptical giver of the church’s impact, discuss the needs that still exist.

Discuss specific goals that the church staff feels led to chase. Be sure to connect the goals to the lives impacted for the glory of God. And then, demonstrate how the skeptical giver can be a part of the mission. If you show the need, you might just see God turn a skeptical giver into a cheerful giver.

Connect the goals to the lives impacted for the glory of God.

5. Continue to preach what God says about money and generosity.

Whether the skeptical giver is won over or not, keep teaching what God reveals in Scripture about money and generosity. God’s Word can pierce the most skeptical of hearts. And He may use one of your teachings to do just that. So, do not get discouraged when you face a skeptical giver. Keep preaching God’s Word and discipling members to live generously.

Keep preaching God’s Word and discipling members to live generously.

 

Every church has skeptical givers. Rather than write them off, take the opportunity to show them the practical ways giving makes a difference and biblical calling on all of us. Remember, giving is an act of faith and obedience. When you help the skeptical giver understand and embrace generosity, you’re helping them take a step in their faith walk.

Art Rainer
Art Rainer

Art Rainer is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes and speaks widely about issues related to finance, wealth, and generosity, and is the author of The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money. Art lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.

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