I recently had the opportunity to speak with Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church, New York about how he communicates with his church regarding money, tithing, and creating a culture of generous giving. If you’re like many of the pastors we work with, finances and giving are probably right up there with sex and relationships on the list of difficult topics to preach on.
Today, I wanted to share a few things I learned from Pastor Lentz that I believe will not only encourage you, but provide actionable steps you can implement this coming Sunday to help your congregation understand what it means to give.
Here they are:
- Don’t ever assume people in your congregation have heard what the Bible says about money or know the lingo. They may have heard bad teaching, or had bad experiences with a church in their past and simply don’t know why, as Christians, we are supposed to tithe. Explain what money can do and what it can’t do. Teach them what the Bible says about money, stewardship, and giving. As a preacher of God’s Word, you have a responsibility of sharing that Truth with people.
- Be consistent in your teaching. Remember, your job as a pastor is to teach and plant the seed, and let God bring the return.
- It’s not the size of the gift, but the heart of the giver that God rewards. In your congregation, you more than likely have broke people who give out of their sacrifice, and rich people who don’t give out of their greed, and vice-a-versa.
- Let your congregation, as well as your community, see where and how you give as a church. If they never see how God is impacting people’s lives with the money they are giving, why should they continue to contribute? When churches do more, you can say less. When your church sees you loving people, you don’t have to keep challenging them to give.
- Stop trying to ask God to get behind what you’re doing, and get behind what He’s doing. Find out what God is doing around you, and get involved.
- Don’t Lose Heart. God is doing more than you think He’s doing. Don’t get discouraged.
Effectively communicating with your congregation about giving is a key component of creating a culture of generous giving in your church. And, it doesn’t happen by accident. In the same way a worship leader prepares people’s hearts for worship in your services, someone should prepare people’s hearts for generosity during the offertory. If you don’t, you may fail to connect your congregation with the heart of what’s going on.
You’re not just passing the plate, it’s a time to invite people to join in what God is doing in your church. And this shouldn’t just happen once a year.
To help you do this, and to help you create and implement a financial strategy as a whole in your church, check out our Giving Rocket Online Coaching Program.