Debunking the Top Six Reasons Against Electronic Giving-Pt 1
It’s 2016, but I still receive push back from church leaders about offering electronic giving to their members. There are always reasons for the pushback and often there is internal struggle in the church between groups who want to utilize it and those who don’t. And yes, often those groups are at opposite ends of the age spectrum. Here is a list of common reasons I hear for not wanting to offer electronic giving, and my responses.
1. We don’t want to pay the fees.
Yes, allowing electronic giving means bank fees. But is having 98% of $100 dollars better than having 0% of $100? You will bring in “new money” by offering electronic giving, money that wouldn’t come in otherwise. Not to mention if people are able to set up recurring gifts they will not be as likely to miss their regular giving, which would bring in more money for the church.
That’s the practical part, now for the spiritual part. If you pay some money each month for fees, but because of electronic giving someone in your church has grown in their faith, is it money wasted? Of course not! Churches pay for things to help members grow spiritually all the time, and this is another opportunity.
Here’s the big question, what is giving all about in a church? If your answer is to maintain the budget or even to grow ministries I believe you’re mistaken. God doesn’t need our money to grow ministry. The purpose of giving is for us to show that God is in control, to thank Him for how He’s blessed us, and in return we have the cool opportunity to play a role in spreading the Gospel.
Finally, there are different ways to structure electronic giving. You can pay more per month and less per transaction or more per transaction and less per month. You can communicate which ways of electronic giving have lower fees so your members can choose how they give.
Ask churches in your area that offer online giving. Do they regret it? I can assure you the answer is no. A recent church staff member I met with told me about their church seeing a 15% growth in giving when electronic giving was instituted and the growth was due to new givers. A staff member at another church said their electronic giving constituted 30% of total giving and gave them a more regular cash flow because it was consistent.
2. If people really wanted to give they would bring a check to the service.
Yes, for your mature Christians they will always make the effort to give. But what about those who aren’t as mature or those who simply don’t have a checkbook like many in our younger generations.
What if on Sunday you announced that Sunday School would start the next week at 4:30 am? Sure some of your members would show up because they are that committed to doing whatever it takes. But I’m guessing your visitor count would be low, and most of your less engaged members wouldn’t be making the effort. You schedule your Sunday School right near the worship service so it will be easy for your people to make the transition to a small group. See the correlation?
What’s wrong with making it convenient for people to give to God?
3. We don’t want people to go into debt.
I’ve heard this before and I have to laugh. Can someone show me a person they know who has gone broke through giving to a Gospel centered church? Not to some tv evangelist or get rich quick scheme of course because those stories are out there, but to a real God honoring Biblical church?
Those who are giving for the right reasons will never go broke because God honors the heart that gives out of gratitude.
Now if this really is a worry, then you can restrict the use of credit cards if you are so inclined. Many electronic giving programs will allow you choose which cards to accept, although keep in mind by restricting certain cards you may miss out on some who would like to give in that manner.
Next week, I will conclude by debunking the last three reasons against electronic giving.