Before judging why your church members are not giving, stop to find out why. It could be a simple issue, or a far more complex problem.
Here is a list of 10 reasons that could be at the root of that problem, and how to address them:
1. They aren’t yet believers at heart
Christians who have been brought up in the faith understand many basic concepts, such as tithing, giving, and the importance of donations in the church. If they are new to the church, however, they will need to be taught these concepts. That may also be a slow process. Don’t expect everyone to start giving right away. They also may need time to grasp the concept. Take them where they are and do not judge anyone.
2. It’s just not the right time
Even the tiniest seeds of faith need time to grow. It may not be the right time for your church member to give. Perhaps they are in transition, have just paid off debts, or are undergoing expensive medical care. Whatever the case, hold their hands—and hearts—gently through this time.
3. They don’t have an understanding of church budget
In order to encourage giving within your church, you must be transparent with the budget. Your church members need to understand where their donations are going. Sharing testimonies during meetings and services, keeping people updated on projects, or even sending out thank you notes and newsletters are simple ways to do this. Those who want to know where the money is going should be able to access this information, and this will allay any fears they may have.
4. It’s not practical for them to give financially
Maybe there are those in your church who are more than willing to give. They have the means. So what’s holding them back? It could be something as simple as the practicality of giving. Perhaps they don’t physically attend church, due to a physical ailment or other personal reasons. A Giving App or Giving Kiosk might be just the solution. You can manage all the donations digitally, making it easy for your members to give in a single click.
5. They are in a crushing financial fix
Debt is a common reason people are not able to give financially. It puts them under tremendous stress and all kinds of problems. How do you address this issue? You could offer financial management courses, showing them how to better their money management, secure good income, and invest in the right places. Creating long-term wealth is a skill that can be taught, and learned.
6. They don’t trust your church’s leadership
Trust is essential. How can people give to your church unless they trust you, its leaders, and managers? Lack of trust in your church means a lack of financial support. Do your part to inspire trust and generosity by being more open. Like we said in point number 3, stay transparent. Let your flock in on the details, such as your church budget or the total amount raised during a fundraiser.
7. They don’t know why they should be giving in the first place
Giving may sound like a basic principle, but in fact, it comes a little later in spiritual growth as a Christian. Just as you would not expect a newborn baby to eat solids right away, don’t ask too much of your newest church members. Instead, teach them the foundations of giving. For example, stewardship; how to work with and grow what they already have. Teach them trust and faith in the Lord, and the benefits of their giving will be a natural step in their maturity.
8. They Think Their Gifts Don’t Count or Are Too Little
Some people feel they have too little to give. They see the large numbers of your church and think, “My gifts don’t really count!” No matter how little or how big their gifts are, however, God sees their motives, and judges only their heart—and so should you. (Mark 12: 41-44)
9. They are not the one in charge of family finances
We see this scenario time and again: one spouse has control of the family’s finances, yet the other wants to give to the church. What should you do? In no case should the willing spouse be given without the consent or knowledge of his or her partner? The church should always encourage unity and oneness in marriages. It is more important to keep to this standard and spiritual ethics than to achieve your fundraising goals.
10. They have already committed to giving elsewhere
Many folks are willing to give but have already made prior commitments. This is completely natural, and quite common. As they review their next year’s budget, however, they may reconsider giving to your church instead. Let them know that their gifts—and their presence in your fellowship—is welcome anytime, regardless.
One way you can encourage giving in your church is by offering visitors and members 24/7 access to a digital platform. With this, you can setup recurring giving or let them make a single donation, securely online and through mobile. Visit New Fire Giving to find out more about our innovative digital donation management software.