Easter is six weeks away, and I have about six seconds to keep your attention. So, how about this?
Reading this Coach will help you raise your largest Easter offering ever and add new donors.
Need more convincing? Here is what one pastor emailed me after using my Easter giving playbook:
“We followed your Easter offering advice and raised over $17,000 above our normal weekly offering. The offering made up for the budget shortfall created during the winter months and is enabling us to move forward in the black.”
OK, I know that all sounded like a salesman trying to sell you something. It’s the opposite. I will give you free advice on accomplishing all of the above and more with a successful Easter offering. I just gotta get you to keep reading! So, let me cut to the chase and state that this week’s Coach, the first in a series on Easter offering planning, is entitled Making the Case for Easter Offering Planning. I’m going to do that but first, let me deal with the obvious.
Few pastors will give any time to the offering, and most won’t even mention giving on Easter. Why? The fear that any talk about money will cause guests to never return. That is the number one reason why pastors hardly ever mention giving at all, especially on Easter. Why is that? For the most part, pastors have a poor understanding and attitude about the offering, resulting in making mistakes about the offering. Here is my list of the …
Common Easter Offering Mistakes Churches Make
- De-emphasizing the importance of taking up the offering. This doesn’t just happen on Easter but nearly every week for most churches in America. De-emphasizing the offering is a result of…
A. Not seeing the offering as a crucial part of worship. The offering IS worship, and when we downplay the offering, we cheapen worship.
B. Worrying that it will turn people off. It’s how we talk about money that turns people off, not that we talk about money. If we position the offering correctly, people will respond.
C. Failing to understand the Law of the Harvest. Taught correctly, biblical stewardship is the basis for achieving financial security, allowing Christians to be more generous.
D. Business as usual approach. If you approach your Easter offering as you always have, don’t be surprised if it is not as successful as you would like.
- Not planning out the offering. The lack of planning is the death of any good idea. Start planning out NOW what you will do and say for your Easter offering.
- Not making a case for the offering. This is true for each week’s offering but especially true on Easter. I use the offering time as a teachable moment to focus upon what the Bible teaches about giving and how giving impacts missions and ministry for life change.
How do you correct these mistakes? Here are some thoughts on how to correct the above mistakes.
- Don’t make the offering time about you! I don’t mean you personally. I mean your church budget. Too often, we make any appeal to give about hitting some budget number that few, if any, understand or care about. If your goal is to make budget, you’re not going to have a successful offering.
- The goal is not in people’s money but what it represents, their hearts. How we spend money shows what we truly value.
- Leading your flock to achieve financial stability through understanding and applying biblical principles. Practicing good stewardship of all that God entrusts to us helps believers better manage their resources. When we de-emphasize giving, we are not doing our members any favors. Your kids don’t like eating vegetables, but you make them eat them. You do it for their own good.
- Show the impact of what giving accomplishes. People want to be a part of something significant. The work of your local church is eternally significant!
By telling your story of what God is doing at your church, touching lives for eternity, you can invite anyone to give financially to support your story. Americans are the most generous people on earth when motivated. Let’s find ways to motivate people to give to your story.
But first, I must motivate you, your worship pastor, and your staff. So, here are…
The Stewardship Coach’s Motivational Easter Offering Goals for Church Leaders
- Create a worshipful moment for the offering that sets the stage for future appeals. Winning begets winning. When you make the offering worshipful, people will come to enjoy the offering time. Giving will increase. And a great offering will…
- Launch new donors on the road to being good stewards and generous disciples. My goal is to get people started on the stewardship journey with that first gift. I want to show them how their gift will make a difference, creating a willing desire to give within them. You are basically saying, here is what we are doing and why we are doing it and what it is doing. No pressure. No guilt. If we can get that first gift, then we can work on the next.
- Fully fund your spring and summer months. In my experience, churches often come out of the first quarter behind their set budget. This endangers spring and summer initiatives unless we can close the giving gap. So, I have a working goal of seeing additional weeks of offering raised.
It only takes 120 seconds or less on Easter morning to accomplish this, but it will require time, thought, action, and prayer on your team’s part to accomplish! Come back next week and I’ll show you the how of the Easter offering. For now, start thinking about what your message will be this Easter as we take up your Resurrection Offering. Check out my Bonus Section for my standard Vision Worksheet. Let’s make this your best Easter offering ever.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach