Money is a touchy subject of conversation, especially for churches. But you can’t avoid the subject of giving in the church, so how can you handle it better?
Giving is a beautiful thing. It impacts the world, the church community, and the individual who gives. Even though some people could get offended when you bring up giving, you can’t let that scare you or water down your teaching.
This blog post has ten ways to make it easier to talk about giving in your church. It may surprise you to discover that talking about giving can be fun when you approach it the right way. Here’s how!
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Table of contents
- Why Is Giving in the Church So Important?
- 10 Ways You Can Make Giving in the Church Natural and Easy
- 1. Teach Straight From the Bible
- 2. Be open and honest
- 3. Make it convenient to give
- 4. Encourage online giving
- 5. Find the right rhythm and frequency
- 6. Connect giving in the church to mission and outcome
- 7. Be transparent and accountable with financials
- 8. Provide tools for individual financial health
- 9. Highlight giving seasons
- 10. Organize campaigns and projects
- Basics for Talking About Giving in Church
Why Is Giving in the Church So Important?
According to a recent Forbes article, philanthropic giving has increased in recent years, even with the pandemic and other social and economic unrest. Charitable giving in 2020 saw a 5.1% increase over 2019.
Trends also show that younger generations (millennials and gen z) are more interested in giving than previous generations. And they’re showing increasing sophistication in their giving methods.
So, churches can’t be silent when it comes to giving. People understand the power of financial resources to make a difference in the world. They want to make a positive impact and leave a legacy.
Who better to talk about and tackle these issues than the church?
However, remember that giving in the church is about much more than supporting a good cause.
Giving is a spiritual discipline, a step of obedience, and an act of worship. It’s a natural response as you grow in your relationship with God. And when we come together and give sacrificially, it can be a powerful witness to the world.
10 Ways You Can Make Giving in the Church Natural and Easy
Although you know giving is immensely valuable (and necessary for the church to operate), it can still feel awkward to talk about it.
If you’d prefer to pass the mic to a colleague when offering time rolls around, you’re not alone!
But when your church talks about giving the right way, it no longer feels like a loaded or taboo topic. So, here are ten ways you can make it easier to talk about giving in your church.
1. Teach Straight From the Bible
It may be surprising, but scripture talks about money and finances more than most other topics. Some resources cite over 2,000 Bible verses on money-related topics.
Money may not feel like a very spiritual thing to discuss in church, but God clearly has a lot to say about it! In the Bible, the diverse range of subjects under this umbrella include:
- Debt and Lending
And others in addition to this list.
Obviously, you can’t cover every single money verse in the Bible in a sermon series or even a year’s worth of giving messages.
But you can select a few key Bible passages for offerings and messages to shape your church’s giving culture and then highlight additional scriptures over time.
In addition, cultivating a firm biblical foundation for your teaching on giving in the church will guard against legalism or greed. It holds everyone accountable because Scripture provides clarity on how to handle finances and the heart issues that are connected.
When your teaching is based on biblical passages, it removes confusion about whether you’re preaching your opinions or seeking personal gain. Let the Bible speak for itself!
2. Be open and honest
Don’t be too flowery or abstract when you talk about giving. Although that may feel like a gentler, less abrasive approach, it’s better to be straightforward. Otherwise, your approach to giving can feel manipulative and underhanded.
Be clear about what the church needs to complete its mission. If people understand the church’s needs and why they’re important, then they can prayerfully consider how they can best contribute. This removes any guesswork or unanswered questions.
Of course, churches have obvious needs like buildings, bills, supplies, and church staffing. The church family needs essential support to function week to week.
Furthermore, financial resources are necessary for ministry, benevolence support, outreach projects, and missions. Giving allows the church to be a generous force in the community–meeting needs and sharing the love of Christ.
3. Make it convenient to give
Once the “why” behind giving is clear, the “how” should be easy to navigate.
You want to provide a variety of ways for members to give. This could include online giving, giving envelopes, or giving through text message.
Your website should have a giving landing page that spells out the payment options, financial oversight, and other pertinent safety and legal information.
Make sure giving is always a simple click away by including
- Buttons on your homepage
- Links under your online sermon player
- Links to give in your emails
- Giving kiosks or boxes for in-person giving
- Recurring payment options
4. Encourage online giving
Many businesses are moving to cashless payment systems, and people are well accustomed to using apps and online platforms to make payments. Online giving is one of the most popular giving methods for several reasons.
- It’s simple and can be done from anywhere with an internet connection
- You can set up recurring payments, so you don’t have to think about it each week
- It’s often more secure than giving cash or checks
From the church’s perspective, being able to count and reconcile offerings is obviously easier with digital giving. It improves efficiency and accuracy for the accounting team.
Then, from a spiritual perspective, automatic giving reflects the value that we place on giving to God first. It shows that giving is not based on a whim or emotion; it’s a principle.
5. Find the right rhythm and frequency
You need to find the right rhythm and frequency to discuss giving in the church. When you mention giving regularly, it becomes accepted and expected.
So nobody is shocked or caught off guard when you bring it up.
On the other hand, you don’t want to harp on giving so much that it feels like all you ever talk about is money! That gets old quickly.
A good rule of thumb is to teach on giving at least once a quarter and to make giving announcements every week.
You can also organize giving projects or campaigns throughout the year to help increase participation and provide focus. However, you don’t want to overdo it, or campaigns will lose their impact.
6. Connect giving in the church to mission and outcome
People benefit from understanding the purpose of their giving and seeing the tangible results. And it’s all about people, life change, and advancing the kingdom.
People connect through stories, so how can you vividly and tangibly show the impact of their giving?
The giving story begins with the values and mission of your church. A common purpose gives meaning and unity to the church’s giving.
Then, the story should describe the outcomes and impact. Some tangible ways to show this include:
- Sharing financial giving summaries, totals, and statistics
- Pictures of completed projects and families served
- Testimonies of those who have been blessed
- Videos showing how giving made an impact
You can include these stories in church services. Plus, stories can be featured on social media, in email newsletters, or in annual giving reports.
7. Be transparent and accountable with financials
Churches should operate with integrity in all things, especially financials. Whether you belong to a denomination or are part of a non-denominational church, you should have designated leadership, oversight, processes, and reporting in place.
Here are some keys to accountability.
- Certified professionals should oversee your accounting and finances.
- Create a giving statement or report that is shared with the congregation regularly.
- Appoint an independent board that reviews giving reports and has final approval on budgeting and stewardship.
Operating with integrity and accountability will help people feel confident that their giving is being used wisely. It also allows church leaders to focus on ministry rather than managing finances.
8. Provide tools for individual financial health
As you teach on topics of giving, money, debt, wealth, and finances, you are sharing vital principles that help individuals and their families.
Financial stress is a huge burden. According to a 2021 CNBC report, the average American has $90,460 in debt.
Poor money management and lack of financial health are also devastating for families. A study from Ramsey Solutions found that money is the number one issue married couples argue about.
There are many curriculums to help people with personal finances. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) is a popular one for churches, and there are others. You can use these programs in Sunday School, in small groups, or as a weekend sermon series.
Important topics to cover are:
- Getting out of debt
- Creating a budget
- Saving for emergencies
- Building wealth for retirement
People need to be on solid financial footing. Like many areas of our lives, healthy habits start at home. A financially healthy membership will never be afraid to talk about giving in the church.
9. Highlight giving seasons
Giving is on peoples’ minds at certain times of year more than others. And you’ll see this reflected in culture and media.
Giving is top of mind at the end of the year for a few reasons:
- Using up giving budgets before the new year
- Finding ways to lower taxable income
- Holidays inspire people to think about giving more than usual
- Gratitude and giving are a significant focus in November and December
- Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving
You can take advantage of giving seasons by planning ahead and incorporating announcements into your church communication calendar. Other non-profits and good causes will be soliciting your members for Giving Tuesday and end-of-year donations, so don’t be shy.
Be sure that your members know the options to give to their local church. By giving advance notice and providing multiple opportunities, you can make it easy for people to give during these important times.
10. Organize campaigns and projects
People like to know precisely where their money is going. So, you can provide opportunities for them to give to specific initiatives.
Ideas for giving campaigns could include
- Supplying a local school in your community and serving the teachers
- Providing scholarships for families with limited finances
- Supporting a missionary or missions trip project
- Enhancements or renovations to your building or property
- Starting a new ministry initiative
Strategic giving campaigns make it easy for people to talk about donations and get excited about the projects. Be sure to organize giving campaigns and projects with a clear purpose, budget, and timeline.
Providing visual updates for meeting these goals can be particularly inspiring and motivating.
Plus, giving campaigns can be promoted on social media, in your church announcements, or newsletters. You can even have giving kiosks set up in the lobby or designate special funds on your giving page.
Basics for Talking About Giving in Church
As you implement these ten tips for talking about giving in the church, remember three foundational basics.
First, set up sound financial processes with professional oversight. If you don’t have a full-time staff financial team, you can outsource with a professional accountant and legal team to ensure you’re in line.
Second, choose the right giving software. Churches have many fantastic options, including programs that integrate with broader church management software.
And finally, remember to stay grounded in biblical foundations for giving and finances.
What tips would you add? How does your church make giving easy?