A while back, I attended another church as a first-time guest. When it came time for the offering, the minister got up, announced the offering, prayed a quick prayer, and the plates were passed. I was sitting in the back row, and had no plans to give money, but the guy in the pew in front of me had other plans. He had a wad of cash he wanted to give. However, he had nothing to put it in so he could receive credit for it. So, he made the dash to the pew rack behind him, grabbed a very small envelope, and then hurriedly tried to fill-out the envelope. Before he could finish stuffing the cash into the envelope, the plates were already past him. The ushers had to wait for him to finish.
This is a true story, and this should never happen in your church during the offering. You should never receive an offering without doing these three things first:
- Give People Time to Prepare Their Offering
Those who bring their offerings on Sunday and still use checks or cash will probably need time to get it ready. A simple way to give them time is to say: In just a few moments were going to continue in worship by receiving an offering. If you havent prepared your gift already, we want to encourage you to do so now.
- Thank People Who Already Gave
Im not talking about people who gave at an earlier service; Im talking about people who gave by digital giving or automatic bill pay. Thank those who are consistently generous by saying: As youre preparing your gift, I want to thank those whove already given online via the website or mobile phone and those whove already given by automatic bill pay or debit. Thank you so much for your faithfulness and generosity.
In addition to creating more time and thanking those whove given digitally, you have informed the rest of the congregation that there are more options for giving than just cash or check. Why is this important? The higher the percentage of digital giving, the healthier your finances will be at your church. Make digital your default!
Theres one more thing to do:
- Share With Them a Scripture, Story, or Stat
This is an opportunity to share with people the importance of giving. It explains the why behind the what. Every week you should share a Scripture that relates to giving or generosity, a story that inspires generosity, or a stat from your church or something else that moves people to give.