“I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen vision connected to the offering.”
That comment was made by a denominational leader to me recently. He revealed what I have long known: the offering is the least prepared moment of our worship services.
Now that we’re all worshipping remotely, my counsel is this: don’t forget the offering!
Every church in America is scrambling to figure out how to continue ministry in this time of crisis. By now, many (if not all) of you have developed a way — through video — to stay connected with your members. Now more than ever, we need our members to stay faithful in giving. Of course, our platforms here at OnlineGiving.org (OG) give you every tool you need. Yet, our tools are not nearly as useful if you don’t set up the offering correctly.
Let us share with you some fundamental principles for how — even remotely — you can make your offerings more impactful.
#1: I know giving has been a challenge, but don’t come off as desperate. Donors never respond well to pleas that begin by telling people how dire your financial situation is. In all your appeals, you want to build confidence in your donors that their gift will make a difference, not merely keep you out of the poor house.
#2: Even if you can’t meet onsite for your service, don’t forget the offering. Take time during your service to focus on the joy of giving. Giving — and thus, the offering — should always be a part of our worship. The offering is not an interruption to worship; the offering is worship. So, make the offering a worshipful moment.
#3: Always connect your vision to the offering. Every offering should help those listening understand that a dollar given at your church impacts the Kingdom of God. I like to call it show and tell. You want to show the amazing things your church is doing. Tell the story of how you’re impacting the lives of people. Then, simply say something like this: “Every time you give here, your gift helps us impact people. Thank you for your generosity.”
#4: Use the change-up pitch to keep your members’ attention. What’s a “change-up pitch”? In baseball, a pitcher will often throw a pitch that’s slightly off-speed from his fastball. The batter is thrown off by the speed and misses the ball. A change-up, for a pitcher, helps keep the batter guessing. My point is that you need to keep member’s attention by changing how you make the appeal. You might use video one week, a Scripture passage another week, and so on. Sometimes it pays to move the offering moment to another time in the service simply to keep your members focused.
#5: Speaking of a change-up, think beyond your video service for your offering time. COVID-19 has made us all think outside the box. We now know that we can hold church via video at any time. Why, then, would we not move our offering appeals beyond our Sunday morning service time?
Using OG’s links to your giving page and our other platforms, you can easily put a link from your social media pages directly to your giving page.
Recently, a client showed through their Facebook page how they were gloved up and handing out food to older adults and needy people. At the end of the post was a simple message: “Thanks to your generosity. We can do this!” They then posted a link to their giving page.
#6: Make it easy to give. The easier you make it for people to give, the more they’ll give! We recommend that you post the link to your giving page. List the various ways people can give, from online, to text, or through your App. Never assume people know the different options they have for giving.
Your church is a vital part of your community. As such, it deserves the support of your members.
As you plan out your online worship services, spend time thinking about how best to position the offering.
In all your planning, don’t forget the offering!
OnlineGiving.org’s innovative platform provides tools for churches with easy digital giving, engaging text marketing, a chatbot that connects, and mobile apps rich with integration — a set of cutting-edge ministry tools specifically designed for Evangelical Christian Churches that equips churches’ creative teams with the tools they deserve, while experiencing healthy growth and profound engagement with members.
This article originally appeared on OnlineGiving.org. Reprinted with permission.