Inviting Generosity – Giving Beyond the Needs of the Church

by | May 4, 2017

Actual overheard conversation #1 from one man to another: “You should join the Lion’s Club.  We really need you to help us with our projects.”

Actual overheard conversation #2 from an older church member to a first-time visitor in her 20’s: “We need more young people.  You need to join and help us save our church.”

These conversations have two items in common.  First, they both speak to the need of the organization over the need of the individual to whom they were speaking.  Second, though both the Lion’s Club and the church are worthy groups, neither conversation resulted in a positive response from the one being invited to join.

The lesson?  People are unlikely to be motivated by your need, or by the needs of the organization you represent, even if that is the church.  Too often, however, this is the approach that people who are committed to those organizations use to invite, entice and encourage others to join.  The most effective way to invite someone?  Speak to their need and how becoming a part will make a difference in their own life.  For example, highlight the value of connecting with other business leaders through the Lion’s Club.  Discuss the advantages of building relationships with people who also care about the community and about an impactful service project your organization is doing.  Share a story of how your church has touched your life, connected you more closely with God, about a ministry that is making a difference, and about the lifelong relationships you’ve made.

It is the same approach we should use when talking about giving.  Asking people to give because we can’t pay our bills, because the staff hasn’t had a raise in three years, or because of a financial crisis does not warm a donor’s heart!  While it may help with a short-term fix, it will fail to cultivate long-term generosity.  Remember to speak to the person’s need to give and to experience generosity rather than the church’s need to get.

  • Share how giving has been a blessing in your life
  • Share a story about a life that has been impacted and transformed through resources given to the church’s ministry
  • Make sure they know that you care about them rather than seeing them as a solution to a church problem

When talking about giving, Clayton Smith (author of “Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity”) says it well: It’s not about what you want from people; it’s what you want for them.

Image Info: “Tell Your Story” by Damian Gadal is licensed under CC BY 2.0


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Everything you need to inspire generosity.


4 Disturbing Trends Behind the National Decline in Church Giving

Church Giving Realities

Charitable giving has consistently risen from less than $150 billion to more than $400 billion in the US over the last 40 years. Yet, last year individual giving fell by 3.4%, charitable giving fell by 1.7% (inflation adjusted), and sadly, inflation adjusted giving to churches fell almost 4%.


What do these giving realities mean for churches?

If this trend continues for just five years, churches in the United States will have 20% less ministry funding.


What should church leaders do next?

In this video, Joe Park explains the trends behind this decline in church giving. He also offers some very practical advice to church leaders to address these giving realities. Some of what Joe discusses is likely brand-new territory for many church leaders. Churches who have made these practices part of their funding model are enjoying increased ministry funding.



If you want to watch the rest of the Giving Intelligence series and access a variety of practical tools to help you cultivate a culture of generosity in your church, visit our Giving365 resource center.


Click here to request a free 20 minute consultation by a Horizons Ministry Strategist about how your church can increase ministry funding and improve discipleship through a process we call Next Level Generosity.

How to Talk About Money and Ministry in Church

Talking about Money and Ministry

Giving to religion fell 3.7% (inflation adjusted) in 2018* as people continue the trend of shifting giving away from the church to other non-profit organizations.  How we talk about money and ministry in the church is one of the reasons.


It’s Easier than You Think

Changing the conversation about money is easier than you might think.  You can begin with one simple vocabulary change. When you make this change, you’ll watch how quickly awkward money conversations can become opportunities to celebrate ministry impact and life change.

Listen as Joe Park, Managing Partner of Horizons Stewardship, explains how this simple change can resolve the tension you might be experiencing as you talk about ministry and money in your church.



If you want to watch the rest of the series and access a variety of practical tools and ideas to help you cultivate a culture of generosity in your church, visit our Giving365 resource center.

*Data provided by the 2019 GivingUSA report.

Why Shifting Your Fiscal Year is a Next Level Generosity Best Practice

Shifting Your Fiscal Year

By shifting their fiscal year away from the traditional calendar, an estimated 40% of vital churches have become better equipped to manage ministry funding. In most churches, up to a third of yearly income is received in December.  In the next offering from Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series, Managing Partner, Joe Park describes why moving to a non-traditional fiscal calendar should be one of your church’s best practices.



To find out more about Joe Park, click here.


Horizons’ Next Level Generosity (NLG) is a framework that enables church leaders to align people and resources to do more ministry. We’re not talking about a capital campaign, but a shift in culture that multiplies a church’s capacity to change lives and make a lasting impact on its community.  Churches that use NLG are reporting double-digit increases in year-over-year giving. To arrange a free 20-minute consultation to explore if NLG is right for you church visit or contact us at


Did you miss the first installments in Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series? Find them in our free Giving365 vault by clicking on the Giving365 logo below.

Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource




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