The biblical principles of generosity and stewardship are clear and present in the scriptures. Teaching followers of Christ to be generous in the context of discipleship is essential and necessary. While teaching and preaching on the topic of money every week is not likely, or necessary, you can influence givers without preaching a sermon.
2. PROVIDE MULTIPLE ON RAMPS FOR GIVING
The classic. Passing the offering plate is a traditional form of giving expressed in many churches. In the Old Testament, offerings were given by standing in line, for everyone to see, in front of the temple. Each has it’s place and time and effectiveness. Ask yourself a few questions to evaluate the passing of the offering plate:
- What percentage give through the offering plate? Is it a strong majority?
- What does it communicate to those who do not give every time the offering plate is passed by them?
- Pastor, how do you give?
If a guest came to your church, and wanted to give, would he/she know how to give because you told them?
Think about the demographic of your audience. Do they carry checkbooks? If they visited your church and wanted to give, would they be able to participate?
Consider a few options for inviting more people to give to the mission/vision of your local church.
Online giving. Most website vendors have the ability to offer churches an option for receiving donations. Your website is working 24/7 to promote your vision. Allow it to also fund your vision. Check also with your local bank. Credit unions can often provide extremely competitive fees on this service. Two goals for online giving:
- as few clicks as possible. Make it secure AND simple.
- make sure the landing page still looks like your church’s website. Keep your logo or other identifier on the giving page.
BillPay from the bank. Most banks will offer a simple bill pay service. It’s free with my bank. In fact, they recently gave me a $5 credit for using bill pay last month. It’s secure. It’s super easy (I already have the bank website open when I am paying all of my bills). And, in most cases, you will not pay any percentages in fees. The check is mailed by the bank and the church receives it a few days later.
Mobile giving. This on ramp is burgeoning with new options. From mobile apps on smartphones to giving via text. There are many options: Kindrid, Text2Give, your own mobile app, and many others. Check the fees with each and make sure you understand the process and compatibility with your data tracking software. Mobile giving is growing rapidly in use and application. It is extremely easy to use and secure.
No doubt, there is a lot of tradition to the practice of receiving the offering at your church. Whether your church is five years or fifty years or one-hundred fifty years old, tradition has a voice in your practice.
Do not neglect one for the other. Because your goal is to invite more people to engage in the opportunity to pursue the vision through biblical generosity.
Question: what % of givers use the offering plate on Sunday mornings? If not the offering plate, what platform is the highest % in your church? Take the poll.
© 2014, Mark Slabaugh