Instead of Despair, Make Giving About God

by | April 13, 2018

At some point during the year, despair sets in. Giving is falling behind and expenses are exceeding budget. If something isn't done soon, next year's programs will have to be cut. The ship is sinking quickly. But before despair sets in, consider a different way to increase giving. Make giving about God.

For some churches, the initial response is to have the finance chair stand before the congregation to grimly inform the congregation of the impending financial crisis. Pointing to charts showing the steep decline and referencing spreadsheets bleeding red ink, the finance chair tells the congregation to dig deep or else. In addition, weekly bulletin notices of income vs. expenses clearly show the growing deficit (and the box around the notice gets bolder from week to week). Sound familiar?

There is a better way to encourage giving.

Desperation has never been an effective strategy for growing giving. In fact, for many members (and especially visitors) this strategy can have the opposite effect.

One of the most successful and spiritually enriching methods for increasing giving has nothing to do with budgets, buildings, dollars, or cents.

Imagine teaching about giving as a key station on the discipleship path. As children of God, created in God’s image, aren’t we born to be givers? Hasn’t God blessed us immeasurably? What if we understood generosity to mean giving like God has given to us?

Generosity begins with God.

Although finance chairs and pastors might agree on the theological accuracy of this statement, they believe it is impractical for motivating their people. Often the rebuttal is, “But we have to talk budget. We have to let people know how far behind we are or they won’t give.”  How has that been working so far?

The most important stewardship verse in the Bible has nothing to do with budgets, building, dollars or cents. The most important stewardship verse is this:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16 (NRSV)

God loves…God gives…And the world is forever changed! The same is true for us!

We love…We give…And the world is forever changed.

We were created in the image of a loving and generous God. Therefore, we become the people God intended for us to be when we love and give generously. God changes us when we give like God. Imagine your congregation full of people who are becoming the loving and giving people God intended them to become. Imagine the impact of your generosity upon the world.

Ok, you might be behind on the budget. Don’t despair. Don't focus on budgets, buildings, dollars, and cents. Help people see themselves as born in the image of a loving and generous God. Provide a vision for growing into the generous people God intends for them to become. Give people an opportunity for transformation. In turn, they will transform the world.

 

3 Comments

  1. This is a fantastic reminder, Scott!

    Reply
  2. Thank you. This was encouraging to me.

    Reply
  3. Totally agree, I believe heart felt gratitude for God’s generosity is key to becoming a joyful giver!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Everything you need to inspire generosity.

RECENT Posts

Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign?

How do you know if you are ready to launch a capital campaign?  

 

Kristine Miller, CFRE, Horizons’ Senior Partner, discusses the five important steps you should take prior to launching a capital campaign to ensure successful results.

 

In this latest video from Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series, Kristine discusses five actions to take prior to launching a campaign for any project such as building, restoration, debt, missions, endowment, or any other capital needs. Has your church leadership wondered whether or not you’re ready to go? If so, this brief video will provide the insights and answers you are looking for.

 

If you missed other installments of the Giving Intelligence Series, click the titles below. Also, sign up for Giving365 in order to access these and other helpful videos as well as more free stewardship resources including insightful eBooks!

Three Reasons Americans Choose to Give

The Power of Thanks: Four Practical Ministry Funding Impact Strategies

Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records

Three Pockets of Giving

 

To access more of Horizons’ free stewardship resources, click the Giving365 logo below.
Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource

A Story of Faith and Transformation You Need to Know

In 2016, St. Andrew, Plano, Texas, faced a significant challenge. Located in Collin County, Texas, one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, St. Andrew was experiencing growth, especially in their contemporary worship service. As a result, several other areas including children and youth, missions, hospitality, and parking were all being stretched beyond capacity to accommodate growth.

St. Andrew’s Growth Paralleled a Focus on Generosity in Their Core Church Language

However, St. Andrew’s leaders had been preparing for growth through the development of their 30-year master expansion plan. The plan focused on four aspects of church life: worship, connect, serve, and give. As growing pains became more intense, church leaders realized it was time to launch a capital campaign. The funds raised would relieve the pressure by beginning to expand critical ministry areas according to the master plan.

Four key aspects of church life at St. Andrew: Worship, Connect, Serve, and Give

 

The Church’s Capital Campaign Facilitated its Larger Generosity Strategy

St. Andrew’s Senior Pastor, Robert Hasley, explained, “We hired Horizons to guide us in determining what to include in the first phase of our capital campaign. Through conversations with our ministry and financial leaders, our committed core of members, and ultimately, the entire congregation, we embarked on an ambitious plan. The result is a worship space that switches from a traditional to a contemporary style with almost the touch of a button.

We now have a worship space that switches from a traditional to a contemporary style with almost the touch of a button.

-Senior Pastor Robert Hasley

This change has enabled us to reset quickly while accommodating both traditional and contemporary worship styles. We also created new and improved areas for students,  children, hospitality, and parking. One of the more significant changes was the addition of a dedicated missions wing for The Storehouse of Collin County–an agency birthed in our church that provides services for Collin County residents in need.”

A Successful Capital Campaign Paid Additional Dividends

In the end, St. Andrew exceeded giving expectations in the capital campaign and moved forward with their plans. In addition, the positivity emerging from the capital campaign created a vibrancy and energy that has impacted ministry in all areas. Rev. Hasley says, “Like our namesake, Andrew the Apostle, we’re a community that loves to invite others to Jesus. As we live out our calling to worship, connect, serve and give, we’re witnessing God move through our community in remarkable ways.”

St. Andrew exceeded giving expectations and moved forward with their expansion plans.

St. Andrew’s journey is far from over. God continues to call the congregation to live out their mission, “Calling the “Christian-ish” to become passionate servants of Christ.”

For more information on the ministry at St. Andrew, Plano, Texas, click here.

To learn more about partnering with Horizons to move your congregation to the next level of generosity, click here.

The Three Pockets of Giving

Are you inviting your members to contribute from all three pockets of giving?

Many churches focus on the annual pocket and neglect to consider the other two–capital and estate pockets. In this next video in the Giving Intelligence Series, learn about the three pockets of giving and why you should be including all three in your year-round generosity program.

 

 

Did you miss the first three installments of the Giving Intelligence Series?  Click the titles below to quickly access them or sign up for Giving365 and access these videos along with many other free stewardship resources.

Three Reasons Americans Choose to Give

The Power of Thanks: Four Practical Ministry Funding Impact Strategies

Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records

 

To access more of Horizons’ free stewardship resources, click the Giving365 logo below.
Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource

OUR NETWORK

Follow Us

PO Box 627
Cabot, Arkansas 72023

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This