Changes That Increase Gift Giving in Your Church

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While tithing is mentioned in the Bible, statistics as far back as 2013 show that only around 25 percent (at the highest) people tithe within the church.

Number 18:26 reads:

Speak to the Levites and say to them: When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD's offering.

The problem isn't that giving is not mentioned in the Bible. There are other reasons tithing is down.

Reasons Tithing is Lower Than Usual

There are a few valid reasons why a person may not tithe. Understanding this helps find ways to counteract this way of thinking.

They Don't Know About It

Those who are new to Christ may not even realize that tithing is written as something they should do. Just like a new student, a person must be taught and learn what is right. Don't think that everyone knows what the Bible says about stewardship. That must be taught.

Their Finances Are Tight

It happens to most of us. We go through periods of having less than usual or feeling as if we do not have any left over to give. This is where 2 Cor. 8:1-2, 7 comes in handy:

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.

It showcases how God's grace helps us through even the most difficult of times. Teach the people in your congregation how God helps us when we may feel that we do not have enough — no matter what it is.

Another is Prov. 11:24-25:

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

They Question Where the Money Ends Up

Many people are curious when it comes to finances. One reason some may be hesitant to give is that they do not know where their money is going. It is always a good idea to be transparent with church funds so people feel comfortable giving.

If the members of your congregation know more about the church's finances, they see where there is a need and do not feel as if the money is simply going “somewhere.”

They Are Not Sure How to Give

Sometimes it is as simple as not knowing how to give. Some who are new to the church may see the collection plate going around. They realize you can give that way, but there are so many ways to tithe that they are not aware of. Be sure they know their options.

And never assume a person has been to church in the past and automatically understands how things work.

They Don't Feel Its Importance

Some people have to have a clear vision of what is going on before they will part with their money. This, unfortunately, happens in church, too. Make sure the members know of God's work being done in the church. Share what is being done for the poor. Share how the church helps with counseling. Tell them about programs for children and the community.

Teach them what the Bible says about a generous heart in Luke 21:1-4:

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

What Are the Stats on Gift Giving?

Just so you have an idea of what's going on in tithing and church donations, here are some interesting statistics.

Out of the almost 230 million self-proclaimed Christians in the United States, just a little over 1 million tithe. That is surprisingly less than 1 percent.

Charitable giving is on the rise. As of 2017, its percentages increased. Yet, religious giving remains at just one-third of all charities, and that is down from halfback in the 1980s.

According to the Giving USA Special Report in 2017, most people who give to religious organizations are 65 and older (54 percent). People under the age of 40 are less likely (23 percent) to donate to the Church. Yet with a younger generation of churchgoers, it is important that they are represented as much as the older members.

How to Increase Gift Giving in Your Church

There are things that all churches can do to help increase gift giving. Here are a few ways to see an increase in tithing and donations.

Show by Your Own Works

Giving begins from within. By making sure you are giving what you can, it is easier to discuss with others how giving changed you. Enjoy discussing money, because changing a person's finances helps change their life. Speak from personal experience and share the good, while offering learning experiences out of the “not so good.”

Offer Alternatives in Giving

There are more ways to give than simply passing around the collection plate. While we can all feel good from what we are used to, with a new generation come new ways of giving.

For instance, digital giving technology offers a variety of ways to give.

Online giving works from any web browser and offers 24/7 access to both members and guests. They can even set up recurring donations or tithing to make it easier to remember. Or, one-time giving is an option with secure online giving and mobile giving.

Another way to make giving more convenient for members and guests is with text-to-give. Just like some charities do during a natural disaster, a person only needs to text to donate or tithe. It is easier to increase giving by offering this option during your sermon or talk on stewardship.

Giving kiosks are yet another way to increase stewardship. This kiosk is similar to what most people are already used to when shopping. This is ideal for larger donors and larger congregations. It is important to note that the average kiosk donation is almost 25 percent higher than with text-to-give.

This helps churches dramatically improve giving numbers while reducing the need to focus all their time on raising funds.

Start a Special Offering

During Christmas and Easter, a church-wide special offering is a worthy way to increase giving. Many will be excited to give to a worthy offering. Make sure to pick a need that resonates with your congregation. Whether it is an international mission or something close to home, find a need that others will relate to.

Now set a reachable goal. Don't make it so high that people are discouraged. But do stretch it some so it's a goal people want to attain.

Use some of the ways mentioned prior to allowing people to donate as easily as possible, with the goal progress transparent.

Start at least six weeks prior to the deadline for the goal. This allows people to have time to plan. Let them know it is okay to give any time up to the day of the goal's finish.

Prepare a presentation or talk about the offering and what it means to help. Let them know that after the goal is fulfilled, they will be able to see their efforts. For example, if it is a mission, they will get to see a video of the trip.

Host a Fundraiser

Hosting a specific fundraiser on a date right after a service is a good way to get plenty of attendees. You have your congregation there, so there is no need for an event space. It can be a fun event that feels like a celebration, and it's different from the norm, which gets people excited.

These are just a few ways to increase gift giving and open up new ways for members and guests to be generous. Your congregation should never see giving as a burden. In fact, 2 Cor. 8:12-15 says:

For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

giving

What Does the Bible Have to Say on the Matter of Giving?

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Christians understand that we have the gift of eternal life because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. If we are to honor Him and follow His lead, we too should be sacrificial, generous, and giving. But where does God weigh-in on the matter? Here we look at several scriptures on giving that tell us exactly how God feels about it.

To the Church

The idea of giving back to God came about long before Moses and the Law. On his return from rescuing Lot, Abram gave a tenth of all the spoils to God in gratitude.

Genesis 14:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.

When we return a part of our increase to God, He promises to give us even greater returns. This is the single occasion where the Father gives us permission to test Him and it is the cornerstone verse of all the scriptures on giving.

Malachi 3:10 New Living Translation (NLT) “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”

To the Poor and Needy

Our Lord Jesus Christ is a staunch Defender of those who cannot fight against those who oppress them. He holds a special place for them in His heart. When we adhere to the principle He established in caring for those less fortunate than us, Jesus credits us with caring for Him.

Matthew 25:35-37, 40 New King James Version (NKJV)“…For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?' … And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

Could there be anything more precious to one who belongs to Christ than actually ministering to Him? Not likely. To bolster this concept, here are a few more passages about God's desire for us to take care of the needy among us:

Isaiah 58:10 New King James Version (NKJV)If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul,Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 1 John 3:17-18 New Living Translation (NLT) If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God's love be in that person? Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Proverbs 19:17 New King James Version (NKJV) He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.

To Missionaries

Just before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He gave His disciples what we have come to call The Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19 New King James Version (NKJV) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Those called to spread the Good News of Christ throughout the world have a difficult task. Not only must they learn how to teach a person who is ignorant of the Lord, some who are even overtly hostile, but they must also understand the culture of the peoples they will be visiting and the laws of the countries they will be entering.

To accomplish all this they need money. Very few people can fund their own excursions and God understands this quite well. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul on how he felt about the support he received on his trips. This passage is a clear example of scriptures on giving:

Philippians 4:14-18 New King James Version (NKJV) Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

Also, examine the instructions of Jesus Himself when he sent the seventy out to spread the Gospel:

Luke 10:4,7 New King James Version (NKJV) Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.

Getting the Message Across

Knowing the Scriptures is a vital component in understanding our Lord's desires, but equally important is imparting this to the flock. Here are a few ideas to bring the scripture-based giving message home to the congregation.

Tithing: Propose a challenge to the church. Ask the members to commit to a period of time to regularly tithe, three months or six months perhaps, and experience the blessings themselves. Some may need counseling to accomplish this; it's not an instantaneous happening and some people will need coaching to get past the inevitable bumps in the road.

Caring for the Needy: Put on a skit with someone serving Jesus on one side of the stage, with people serving the poor on the other side. Mimic the actions of those giving food and drink to the poor with those serving Jesus.

Missionaries: The tried-and-true method is bringing those in the field into the church to speak. As they see the difference missionaries make in the lives of people in need, the knowledge that their money is well spent will encourage future giving.

Asking for money can be awkward for both parties. However, a solid understanding of scriptures on giving paired with effective communication will go a long way towards easing the discomfort. If you're looking for more great ideas on how to talk to your congregation about giving, give us a call, we'll be happy to help.

when they give

4 Secrets To Move Your Church Givers Forward

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Amazon knows that their Prime members spend more each year, and customers who spend more money are good for any business.

Amazon, like most companies, takes specific actions for that process. They do certain things a certain way to achieve their goals.

When it comes to leading givers, what can you do in your church now? What steps can you take this week to start the process of converting occasional givers into committed givers?

Here are 4 ideas:

1. Write a handwritten note to 1st-time givers
Handwritten notes are incredibly powerful in our digital age. People will hold onto these notes for years. Why? Because they appreciate being acknowledged.

Most churches never acknowledge their givers, even those who have given faithfully for years or decades.

Keep this note simple (3-4 sentences). You can even use a template to keep it consistent. This 10-15 minute investment each week will soon become a powerful way to move givers forward.

2. Move people online
Individuals in the U.S. spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year online. Face it: spending money online is here to stay.

If you don’t have a simple online giving solution, then you’re losing money for your ministry.

Get an online giving solution (like the one we offer at New Fire Giving), and show people how to use it. Teach them how to use it, and people will soon become more engaged in their giving.

3. Setup recurring giving
The average church member attends less than 2 Sundays per month.

When they don’t attend, they don’t give.

Once you make online giving available, show people how to give recurring gifts.

Many people already pay their bills automatically each month, and this process is similar. Show them how they can give the same amount on a regular schedule.

4. Send regular updates to givers
Your congregation gets excited and encouraged when they hear stories of life change. Not only is this a proven way to grow your church, but it’s also a proven way to engage your givers.

Sharing these stories should be part of your weekly service.

You should also feature these stories on a dedicated platform like email. Send an email monthly sharing stories, and connect those stories back to giving.

These steps are powerful, practical ways you can effectively engage donors on an ongoing basis.

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