I’m on vacation! For the next two weeks, I will be visiting my daughter’s family in Germany. Actually, I will be there for only ten days. I will be making a presentation on April 25th to Southern Baptist’s State Convention stewardship leaders. I would appreciate your prayers!
To give me a break from writing, I am turning to one of my fellow seminary classmates, Dr. Ronnie Floyd. I once heard John MacArthur say that preachers were packrats. By that, he meant we store up all kinds of articles, ideas, etc., to help us advance the cause. So, here is my packrat pull from the past with an article about avoiding the summer slump in giving. I learned the importance of a summer giving plan from Dr. Floyd. So, let’s hear from the best in this edition of the Coach entitled How to Avoid a Summer Slump in Giving.
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Ronnie Floyd’s book, Ten Percent: A Call to Biblical Stewardship. For a free copy go to https://www.sbc.net/stewardship/.
How to Avoid a Summer Slump in Giving
In my early years of pastoring, I learned about the “summer slump” in attendance and giving. That is why more than 25 years ago, at Cross Church of Northwest Arkansas, we implemented a strategy that was a success with our people. We learned if we could find a way to create consistency in giving during this challenging season, it would have an impact on the entire year. Our simple plan helped lead to financial support in a way that was above and beyond what we ever imagined.
Here are steps you can implement in your church.
- Determine how many weeks exist between the Sunday before Memorial Day and the Sunday before Labor Day. For our example year, we will use 16 weeks. (In most summers, there are 15 weekends.)
- Determine the weekly budget requirement. For example, we will use a budget of $520,000 annually. That would mean the weekly budget requirement is $10,000. Remember, this strategy works with any size budget.
- Multiply the weekly budget requirement by the number of weeks. Using our example, this makes the summer giving goal $160,000.
- Announce to your church family by mid-May what your summer giving goal will be for your church. For example, a pastor would tell his church on a Sunday in mid-May: “Church Family, we have sixteen Sundays between Memorial Day Sunday and Labor Day Sunday. I want to announce that we are setting a summer giving goal of $160,000 to be given over these sixteen weeks. This is important because summer ministries operate at an optimum level, and we need our giving to support it regardless of our vacations or time away with family.” Additionally, on the Monday before the beginning of your summer goal, send a letter to your church family, challenging them to join you in seeing this happen.
- Challenge people to be faithful to give the first tenth of all God has given them personally, regardless of where they are during the summer season. This goal will maintain focus and remind each person to exhibit stewardship weekly and personally so the church can do things faithfully and fruitfully. I believe the summer is a great opportunity for churches everywhere.
- Publicize your summer goal for weekly giving in all your communications; in other words, keep it before the people regularly.
- Inform the people personally and through all communications of the real-time status of your goal every Sunday. We did this through a gauge that looked like a thermometer. You can choose a graphic that is clear and simple. This will keep it before your people strategically each week.
- Each Sunday, connect a ministry experience with the offering and goal. For example, if your church has a Vacation Bible School, you can say something like: “This past week, we were able to reach one hundred children through our Vacation Bible School, and twelve of these children came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Church Family, without your financial support, this would not be possible. But today we rejoice, knowing God has used each of us, through our support, to be part of seeing one hundred children learn about Jesus and twelve make public decisions to follow Jesus.” A sixty to ninety-second story before the offering each week will result in a great response. Dollars follow vision, especially vision that results in lives being changed by Jesus Christ.
- During mid-summer, perhaps in the second week of July, produce a short newsletter and video, if possible, to share the great wins that have occurred in your church during the first half of the summer. Additionally, give the status of where you are with your goal and make another challenge relating to it.
- Follow through, finish well, and celebrate what God has done. Never apologize to your people while talking about what God is doing and letting them know how they can personally participate in ministry and financial support. Whether the goal is reached or not, celebrate.
A summer giving goal resourcing the needs of your church throughout the summer is really an opportunity budget. You are giving your church family the opportunity to go on mission with God together. Together, you can go so much farther and do so much more than anyone can do alone.
Tell the story of what God is doing. When you do these things, your church will avoid experiencing a summer slump in giving.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Missions and Ministry Moment (aka Offering Talk) – To access my Offering Talk Vault, go to https://acts17generosity.com/. Look for the Free Offering Talks link at the top and follow the directions. This week’s talk can be accessed afteryou register at: http://acts17generosity.com/simple-file-list/Offering-Talks/2023-53-Talks-for-53-Sundays/April-23rd-Why-We-Give-Will-Never-Change.pdf.