Offering Were Down So This Is What We Did
As a leadership team we are on a 12 month journey to increase financial awareness and help our people with their personal finances. Over the past couple of years our offerings have been in decline. There are a number of reasons for this, a change in the economy, giving people and finances away to help plant a new church and stabilize another congregation. We also had a number of families move out of town. As we looked at 2016 we realized that this statement was true of our financial situation.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.”
We needed to switch things up and come up with a plan to increase our income and at the same time help our people financially. There are many resources that can help in this endeavour and we decided to use Giving Rocket to guide us. (I have no affiliation this with group.) Their material has been very helpful in getting us moving in the right direction. In order to create “buy in” and get everyone on the same page we invited everyone in our church that had a title to attend 2 meetings. Both of which included pizza and pop:) In our first meeting we explained our 12 month journey and asked 3 questions.
- What is the vision of our church?
- What should our 3 top financial objectives be in 2016?
- Who is responsible for increasing giving in our church?
We had a very good discussion and I was very proud because to the person, reaching those who need Jesus and caring for the less fortunate was the vision they saw for our church.
We followed up a couple of weeks later with our second meeting which had 2 questions on the agenda.
- What factors encouraged you to become a generous giver?
- Where can we as a church improve when it comes to encouraging giving?
It was awesome to hear stories of how people moved from no giving or limited giving to joyful generous giving. The number one message we received that day was the need for CONSTANT AND CLEAR COMMUNICATION from the church with regards to giving.
- Who are we supporting?
- What are the funds being used for?
- When are we helping?
- Where is our giving going?
- Why are we giving to this particular group?
- How does giving work in this church?
Their point was very well taken. When you consider the 1000’s of messages we all receive each day if the church is not consistent and clear about the importance of giving the message will be easily lost. To become more clear and consistent this is what we have done.
- We have a giving talk/generosity video/missions profile each Sunday. We were doing this but not on a consistent basis.
- We have a DVD on loop on our Welcome Desk highlighting missionaries and groups we support. For instance we helped purchase an orphanage in Mexico called Possibilities House and we show pictures of each of the kids.
- We will send out a quarterly report sharing what a has happened in the life of our church. Volunteers added, ministry stories, missionary updates and our income for the quarter. We will also give each people their year to date giving.
Our goal is to more than just raise our church income. We want to encourage and educate people when it comes to their own personal finances. With that in mind we are offering to our congregation one to one budget counselling by a certified Financial Coach. These sessions are free and the coach is not a financial advisor so no financial products will ever be offered or sold.
So that is our journey so far in 2016. What about you? Take a moment and review your last 10 Sundays. When it comes to your offering time what have you been communicating? Is there any communication at all? Do they know how you are doing financially as a church? Do you people know who you give to and what the finances are being used for?
If you’re haphazard in your approach the best time to change things is right now. Talk with your leadership and put some plans in place to begin to encourage, educate and inform your people. If what you are doing right now if not working then what do you have to lose?
If things are going well financially for your church please share with us what you have learned, “Iron sharpens iron”.