Won’t a focus on the offering for Easter turn guests away? That is probably the biggest pushback for any discussion emphasizing giving this Easter. We have been talking about preparing for the Easter offering for the past few editions. We thought it would be good to share a few principles on emphasizing giving this Easter that even guests will appreciate and give to.
If you want to have your best offering this Easter, let’s change the conversation about money! All too often, our focus on giving is based on guilt. We tell people they ought to give. We fail to show them why. We need to change the conversation about money. How does the church change the conversation about money? Here are some key thoughts to that end.
Before we take up the offering, we need to communicate that…
It’s not about money. It’s about missions. The Church is in the business of bringing the Good News of Jesus to a lost and dying world. Missions start at the church’s parking lot and go around the world. When a crisis like a natural disaster happens, the Church is always the first on the scene because it was already there doing missions thanks to Christians who gave at their local churches. When I give to my church, I am giving to missions!
It’s not about money. It’s about ministry. Who visits you when you are in the hospital? It is not your congressman! Who counsels you when you have a crisis? It is not Dr. Phil. Gifts to a church allow that church to do ministry. That ministry impacts people locally, but it also impacts me. My gifts are returned to me through meaningful ministry that I can get nowhere else.
The amazing thing is that the church ministers to people whether they give or not. You can’t get into a health club without paying dues, but no one at the church shuts the doors to people who haven’t paid their dues. When I give to my church, I am giving to ministry.
It’s not about money. It’s about obedience. Who is it that complains most about churches talking about giving? Lost and carnal people complain. People who lack obedience to the call of Jesus complain about giving. True Christian disciples understand that giving is a part of being a believer. It is an obedience issue. We must make generosity a part of our discipleship process from pre-school to Seniors. When I give to my church, I am being obedient to the call of Jesus.
How do you set the conversation? By taking two minutes or less every week for an offering moment. Each week in the Journal, we provide you with a sample offering talk we call Mission and Ministry Moment. These talks are meant to help you focus on missions and ministry and stewardship education. Taking time during your service to highlight giving by showing its impact is a great way to generate excitement and enthusiasm for your offering.
We need to learn from non-profits. Look at some of the major charities’ web pages to see how they converse with their potential donors. You will find a focus on some need in the world and how your gift can make a difference. Non-profits, like the Red Cross, never apologize for asking for donations. Yet how many sermons on giving begin with the minister apologizing for talking on the topic? If we truly believe what we are doing is God’s work, why would we hesitate to ask Christians to support it generously? Let’s stop apologizing for asking for money to fuel missions and ministry. It is high time we set the conversation about giving in a new light and context.
This Easter, make giving about missions and ministry and see what a difference it will make.