At 500 offering talks, I stopped counting how many I have written. Suffice it to say; I know a thing or two about offering talks as I’ve seen a few. I wrote a blog post on this topic a few years ago.1. Here is what I wrote:
First, let me state my premise regarding taking up the offering. This drives everything. I believe in what the local church does. So much so that I believe it should be fully funded. I believe that disciples of Jesus should be generous in their support of Kingdom work. Why wouldn’t they give to what their local church was doing?
I also believe that the offering IS worship, not an interruption OF worship. So, I believe it should be done with excellence and that it deserves time in the service. As a result, I don’t work on my offering talks to be short. I work on them being effective. Granted, you can’t go on and on and on. Yet, hurry is the death of anything. Being fully funded is too important to rush through the process.
So, from that beginning point of assumption, I move into crafting the “ask” for that offering. I know I have limited time and that typically most view the offering as an interruption.
So, I work to…
Get their attention immediately. I like to use timely events like sports or focus on things that everyone is talking about. After I have their attention, I want to move to…
Show them what the church is doing and how it is making a difference in the community and world. Why? Because people give to that which is making a difference. You might list specific things like how many just attended VBS or some other ministry initiative. It could be stated as simply an overarching concept focusing on what ministry or mission is. The point is to help them make the connection that a gift given in today’s offering WILL make an impact for the Kingdom.
Here are some other keys I use in writing offering talks…
- I never use guilt. Guilt doesn’t work to accomplish what you really want, a long-time cheerful giver.
- I try to thank them often for their generosity. Assume they will give, thank them for giving, and you will find…they will give!
- I change how I say what I say so that what I say will never become dry and boring.
- I use Scripture often to reinforce what I am saying and to teach long-term generosity. Never assume those in attendance will magically “get” generosity. Teach it so they will live it!
- 120 seconds or less. That is my time goal. Some argue that is too long. Since the offering IS worship, I argue it deserves at least two minutes. We give time to what we deem important. Trust me; your staff wants to get paid. Help them see that giving 120 seconds of time to the offering is in everyone’s best interest.
Put these same principles to work at your church, and I believe you will see an increase in giving.