Are there struggles with giving in your church? Most churches struggle with with inconsistent giving at some point. One reason being that people in your congregation may not personally connect with the mission and vision of the church. It’s not because they don’t care. They may simply be unaware of how God is using your church in the community and in the lives of others.
For Fund Your Church Now, we interviewed Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church to learn how he bridges this gap.
Like most churches, NewSpring started out with very little. In fact, Noble founded the church 13 years ago with just 15 people. Over the years, he’s figured out how to connect the heart of his congregation with the mission, vision, and giving of the church, and has seen the church grow to eight campuses, with plans for five more on the way.
Here are some key lessons from our interview:
It Starts with Celebrating Change … One Person at a Time
Noble quickly realized that “drive by” giving, with everyone guilted into giving once a year, doesn’t work. That’s because guilt is an ineffective motivator. In his church, giving increased for two weeks and then returned to preexisting levels. With this in mind, he focused on digging deeper — and connecting to a person’s heart through sharing stories.
For example, NewSpring did a one-minute testimonial video, highlighting a real story of how a person was far from God and came to Jesus, changing a life and saving a marriage. At the end of the video, a simple — yet powerful — statement was made: “And that’s why we give.”
Bringing Outreach Home
Encourage giving by showing people what their generosity does. For example, Noble’s church recently gave 5,000 pairs of shoes to children in underprivileged schools across the state. For some of these children, it would be the only Christmas gift they would receive. The church made a powerful video so church members could see and feel the impact made through the generous gift — ending with a simple statement: “Because of your generosity, we impacted 5,000 children.”
Teaching New Believers
For new believers, the concept of tithing may be totally new. Noble recommends connecting with new believers to help them understand how giving is good for the church, but also good for the giver, as the Lord teaches through the giving process.
For example, Noble came to Christ in 1990 but didn’t surrender his finances to God until 1999. The whole time, he was broke. But since surrendering his finances, he has numerous stories of how the Lord was always faithful in his life. Stories like these can help new believers understand why giving plays an important role in their spiritual growth.
Although it’s not a new idea, Noble has success with presenting hands-on examples when it comes to giving. For example, he placed ten $100 bills on the stage and asked a young woman, who happened to be a college student, to receive the bills. The catch? All she had to do was give one $100 bill back.
Gladly, she did.
She was asked, to demonstrate the point, if he was incredibly nice or incredibly cruel for giving her the money but asking for 10% back. She answered he was incredibility nice for giving her the money. In the end, she was allowed to use the remaining $900 toward a trip she had planned to Kenya.