4 Ways to Make Giving Easy
Pastors and lay leaders are intimately familiar with the ebb and flow of ministry dollars in the church. A surplus means expanding ministries and increasing outreach, while a shortage usually means belt-tightening and sometimes even widespread panic. Although the Gospel is free, ministry does cost money, so how can we encourage generosity and make giving easy?
1. Pass an offering plate.
This old idea is new again. Many churches, striving to be seeker-sensitive, stopped passing an offering plate and, instead, placed offering baskets in the back of the church. The intent was to deemphasize giving and allow worshippers to contribute on their way out. If generosity is central to spiritual transformation, why would you remove giving from worship? Removing the giving experience from worship not only stunts spiritual growth and development, it also decreases giving. Passing an offering place affirms our call as stewards of God’s abundance and should take place in every worship service.
2. Place offering baskets in the worship space.
Those who are beginning their stewardship journeys or are new to your church may not be ready to contribute at the time the offering plates are passed. For these people, an offering basket placed near the exit allows them to contribute when they are ready.
3. Provide the opportunity for automatic bank drafts.
Setting up automatic bank drafts is easy for the church and easy for the donor. Many people choose automatic bill pay for recurring bills. They can do the same with their giving to your church. There are many advantages to this type of giving including the ability to give even when out of town. Also, as donors’ financial circumstances change, the bank draft may be changed to reflect this change. While automatic bank drafts provide the church with regular, ongoing support, there is a danger that giving will become stagnant over time. Members who choose this form of giving should be encouraged to pray and reflect on their contributions at least once per year.
4. Provide the opportunity for other forms of online giving.
Many people shop, invest, pay bills, and make donations online. Can they give to your church online too? If people can only give when they are present for worship, they are likely to contribute only 50% or less of the time. Providing the convenience of online giving enables members to contribute regardless of their worship attendance. Consider texting-to-give, giving kiosks, and placing QR codes in your bulletins.
Each church member has a preferred method for giving. Make sure you are offering a variety of options to meet the needs of all church members as well as visitors. Eliminate any barriers and make giving easy. Soon you will be well on your way to making God’s vision for your church a reality.