“Just when we really get going in worship, then it is time for the offering, and it interrupts the flow of worship!” I actually had a staff member tell me that once when I was attempting to help their church reverse a decline in giving. That statement sums up most churches’ view of the offering.
One of my first questions, when I begin working with a church, is to ask about their approach to the offering. How a church approaches the offering time tells me everything about what they believe about biblical stewardship and whether they will be fully funded for the future.
My old boss, John Maxwell, is famous for saying, “everything rises or falls with leadership.” Let me adjust that a bit and say, when it comes to your church being fully funded, “Everything Rises and Falls With the Offering.” This is the first in a series on the offering time because your ability to fund 2022 starts with the offering. Let’s take your offering time to the next level. How do you take your offering time in 2022 to the next level? Here are five thoughts on taking up the offering.
- Never, ever forget that the offering is worship. Instead of killing it, hiding it, ignoring it, why don’t we make it worshipful? What could your team do with all that creativity they possess if they saw the offering not as an intrusion upon their time, but what it is, worship. I firmly believe that it is not that we ask for money that turns people off. It was how we asked. Guilt never works. Let’s change the offering time by making it better.
- Make the “Ask” and Stop Apologizing! Before they take up the offering, the typical church will explain that guests need not give, that the offering is for members. They are essentially apologizing for taking up the offering. Think about what you are asking them to do. You are asking them to join you in worshipping God with our gifts. You are asking them to help you make a difference in the lives of others with their generosity. Let’s invite everyone to join us and stop wasting time telling them they don’t have to give. Stop apologizing for the offering while at the same time making a case for the offering, and you will see your offerings go up!
- Give the offering equal priority as the announcements. The Bible is silent on announcements, but it is filled with admonitions about worshiping God through our offerings. The same staff person that decried the interruption of the offering never minded the interruption of worship for announcements. By giving the offering momentequal planning time and platform time, you will see giving increase.
- Always plan out each and every offering. We provide you with one every week called a …
Missions and Ministry Moment – During the Lockdown, we stopped calling, well, “offering talks,” offering talks. We started calling them Mission and Ministry Moments. We teach that by telling the story of how you are changing the world one life at a time and inviting people to support that, it is the door to gaining the first gift. In two minutes or less, take time to focus on the value of worshipping through giving for both in-person worship and live-stream.
- Make it easy for people to give in their favorite way. With today’s technology, the offering plate is open 24/7. At https://www.onlinegiving.org, we provide you with all the tools necessary to make your offering plate 24/7.
That’s it. Do these five things every week in some fashion. Each week, think and plan it out across all platforms.
The easiest, quickest, and frankly most enjoyable way to increase giving is by taking your offering time to the next level.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach