I have the great privilege of working with Pastors and Christian Entrepreneurs from all over the US. Each with its own settings ranging from Small Rural Churches to urban Megachurches. Each Pastor sets on the agenda for each call. The ideas and next steps from each call is theirs, they own them. This year while on a call Vince Spencer out lined an approach to giving in his church that worked. He Pastors a medium sized Church in a rural setting. I asked him to be a guest blogger for today. Today’s post is for Pastors. Here is what he wrote.
My name is Vince Spencer. I’m the Lead Pastor of New Life Church in Chipley, Florida. Our church’s giving had dropped. Attendance was up, morale was up, but giving was down. As you could imagine, I was puzzled by this. I started praying and brought Duke into the situation in one of my coaching sessions. We worked through some ideas and developed a strategy to see New Life’s giving increase, and it did. It took a few weeks to see noticeable results, but over a period of three months we saw over a 10% increase and it continues to grow! Here are 5 simple steps we implemented that led us to a significant increase in giving at New Life:
1. Lead Pastor receives the offering.
One of the other leaders on my team had been taking the offering. Through our coaching sessions we came to the conclusion that the congregation would view giving as being more important when I stepped forward to receive the offerings.
2. Short teachings on giving.
I took 15 minutes of my sermon prep and planned a different lesson for each week. I spoke about giving our time, talent and treasures to the Lord. I keep this segment of service to 5-6 minutes at most. It is quick and intense. One particular teaching brought an immediate group of new givers. I taught from Malachi 3 about being under a curse when we are not giving. I was amazed at how that moved people.
3. Offer different giving opportunities.
We focused on asking the people to give their tithe and to additionally give 1% to missions and 1% to our project account. We chose keep our giving opportunities simple and easy for our congregation to understand. All of our giving opportunities are explained weekly as we receive the offering.
We started using the same language weekly in asking people to give. I learned that although I get tired of saying the same thing, my congregation does not hear those words but once a week. Reiteration of terminology helps establish the giving culture of a church.
We did not make huge changes, nor did we present panic about tithing to our congregation. We simply became consistent in what we do. Every week they know when I come to the platform for the first time I will be receiving the tithes and offerings. They know I will be doing a short teaching, then receiving the offering. The routine of giving has been established through consistency.
One idea that has been discussed often in my coaching with Duke is that consistency brings results. Our goal was to create a habit of giving at New Life. We started with a plan and clear expectations, however, what has led us to results is consistently implementing our plan each week without fail. Our consistency has built trust with our congregation and we have seen a significant increase in givers as a result.
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