How to Receive the Offering

How to Receive the Offering

Dr. Roy Fish taught me about the importance of drawing the net when we call people to follow Jesus Christ. He would talk about the importance of drawing the net when you are fishing for men. When a fisherman has cast his net, he draws it back in with the fish. The point is that you cannot simply throw out a net and expect to catch fish if you don’t pull it in.

When we cast the Gospel net, we need to draw people in with an invitation to respond. You don’t preach an evangelistic sermon and then tell everyone to go home. You lead people in a response to Jesus by extending an invitation for people to come follow Jesus. When you do this, you are drawing the net.

This principle of drawing the net is also true when you are taking an offering. When you receive an offering, you are leading people to make some kind of tangible response to God. Giving is a tangible response, whether someone responds online or in person when they give.

Remember, you are leading people to respond to God. When God gets their heart, He will also get control of all the assets He has given to them.

Intentionality is imperative when you are extending the opportunity and the call to honor God in giving through the offering. If you are not intentional while taking an offering, you are chasing after the wind.

If the offering is not purposeful and intentional, then the result will be minimal. Neglecting this stewardship entrusted to you as a leader is a poor decision. You are to develop disciples by teaching them to observe all things Jesus has commanded them.

Think of the Offering Like You Are Making An Elevator Pitch

The phrase “elevator pitch” comes from the idea that while you are riding in an elevator and someone with greater influence than you enters, you may have an opportune time to impress them on your short ride together. What you say in those thirty seconds in the elevator will mean the difference between whether you get a full hearing later or you are simply forgotten. Therefore, you have to be ready to give the key information to sell your idea to them that you want them to hear all in about thirty seconds or less.

When you are taking an offering, prepare like you are making an elevator pitch, meaning you have thirty seconds to lead someone to a positive response.

3 Principles to Follow When Taking the Offering

My friend Mark Brooks, known as The Stewardship Coach, wrote this about elevator pitching the offering time:

“In the book, The Influential Fund Raiser, the authors talked about what they called the elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is that short statement you can make in less than one minute. The authors stated that every elevator pitch needs three elements: think, feel, and do.1

Here are the three principles as they relate to the offering…

THINK – You want to get them thinking about the offering. You are making a case for why people should give to your church. Connect them and the offering with carrying out the mission of your church.

FEEL – You want to touch their heart as to why the offering is essential. The best way to do this is to tell the stories of what God is doing in others; in other words, how people’s lives have been changed and will be changed when they give.

DO – When it comes to the offering, you want them to reach into their pockets and give! If they are giving technologically, you want them to get their phone and give via text, or online through your method. If you have screens in your worship center, put how to give on the screens and leave it up long enough for people to really understand it.

My point is that every offering needs an elevator pitch, helping people see the need for giving.

When your elevator moment arrives, or yes, when you are taking the offering, what will you say? Guess what? Every Sunday, you have an elevator moment; it is called the offering. What you say could make the difference in someone’s life being changed or having to cancel an effective ministry because the money is not there to fund it.”

We are reminded to be intentional when taking the offering. Use this moment to draw the net!

Here is a true illustration from my days of pastoring about how to take an offering during a worship service using these principles.

Church, I want to tell you a great story today. This story is better than what Hollywood could come up with in a fantasy world.

Some of you here today may be familiar with the name of Brandon Moore. He just completed his sophomore season playing for the University of Arkansas Razorback Baseball. In this World Series season for the Razorbacks, Brandon Moore pitched 29 ballgames. While his achievements are worthy of notice, more special than all of this is the fact that, during this year, Brandon came to know Jesus Christ personally. Through relationships, he began to attend our Cross Church Fayetteville Campus. As a result of God’s work in his life, on Sunday night, July 1, under the crosses at Pinnacle Hills, I had the personal privilege to baptize Brandon Moore as a testimony of his faith commitment to Jesus Christ, along with 89 other wonderful people, each with their own individual faith stories.

Cross Church, you are part of Brandon’s story and the stories of the other 89 people I baptized that night. Your faithfulness in supporting the ministries and mission of Cross Church allows us to reach the Brandon Moore’s of the world. Brandon Moore is only one story out of many happening not just in Northwest Arkansas, but literally around the world.

This is why I want you to remember, when you give at least the first tenth of all God gives to you, we are together reaching Northwest Arkansas, America, and the world. God is doing great things all across Northwest Arkansas because of the ministries of our church; but, He is also using you to plant gospel churches across America and the world as well as sending missionaries throughout the nation and the world.

Thank you for all you are doing. Thank you for all you are giving. God is using you here, as well as across America and the world.

Right now, it is time to give and to honor the Lord with the first tenth of all God has given to you. You can do this by writing a check to our church, or by giving cash. Additionally, you can give by texting your gift to the number on the screen right now or go on our website and make a gift. I want to also encourage you to consider doing as Jeana and I do; we practice recurring giving. You can set this up and have this transferred from your personal bank account weekly or monthly, just as many of you pay bills in a recurring manner. Find your way to give, just give as the Lord says to give.

You can never out give God. As I have told you before, when you shovel gifts out, the Lord shovels blessings back to you and your life. Do not forget: His shovel is always bigger than your shovel. Therefore, every time you give, keep this in mind: Because of your gifts, you are helping us reach the Brandon Moore’s and so many others all across the world. Thank you for investing in the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

Evaluation of this Illustration in light of the Three Principles

THINK: Yes, this illustration helps people think about the offering. We connected the offering with the mission of the church.

FEEL: Yes, we told the story of life change not only through Brandon’s life, but through what God is doing by changing lives.

DO: Yes, we told them how to give in many ways and did it in a positive way.

This is one way you can take an offering; therefore, lead on with vision by drawing the net.

  1. Bernard Ross and Clare Segal. The Influential Fundraiser (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009) 19.

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