Few people like to talk about money. Even fewer like to ask for money. But if your church is going to continue to grow in ministry effectiveness, you’ve got to get comfortable with it. And if your church is going to not only grow, but thrive, you’ve got to get good at it. Thankfully, getting ‘good’ at talking about money can be as simple as shifting your perspective just a bit. When you ditch the mindset that giving is a ‘have to’ of Christian life, and instead begin to believe it’s a ‘get to’ that shows people have truly embraced the generosity of God in all areas of their lives, talking about money becomes something entirely different.
If you’re ready to shift your perspective and build your confidence in talking with your church members about giving, here are four things you need to believe about generosity and giving:
- Knowing when people give is the first step to increasing generosity. The act of financial giving is one of the strongest indicators that a person’s heart has truly changed in their journey of following Christ. And a pattern or habit of giving shows you just how committed that person is to truly living out a new life. If a church member suddenly stops giving or their giving slows dramatically, it’s a sign that something’s happening in their lives that could need your attention as a church leader. They could be going through a financial hardship (job loss, medical emergency, etc.) or something could be happening that’s leading them to disengage with your church. Track individual giving and use your church management software to generate reports you can review regularly to spot trends or anomalies that you need to address.
- Increasing generosity requires a balance of art and science. Church leaders who lean to heavily on their ‘gut feelings’ can risk leading the church down a dangerous path. Leaders who lean too heavily on information can often miss the opportunity to act. You know far more about your members’ giving patterns than you probably realize, but you’ve got to create and follow a process to collect, organize, report, and act on that data. Don’t just listen to your gut, but don’t get caught in the weeds of all your data, either. Find a process that works for you and follow it consistently.
- Increasing generosity doesn’t just happen. It requires strategy, process, and consistency. This happens when you cultivate relationships with givers, effectively use technology to learn about their giving, make a plan based on what your data and reports are telling you, and make sure you’re integrating messages about generosity and giving into all aspects of your church’s engagement and connection efforts.
- Increasing generosity is just as much about managing people as it is about managing money. So many churches emphasize the financial aspect of their giving efforts, and forget that it’s people who are behind those gifts. You have to manage both people and money well, and that means realizing that you need to both develop and consistently implement two distinct strategies for them.
A thriving, healthy, financially flourishing church doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of leaders and givers who are working in unison to support what they believe God is calling your ministry to do in your community. It’s the result of leaders who know what’s happening with their financial gifts, and givers who feel connected to their church in ways that really matter — and will last.What needs to happen in your church today to develop a more flourishing ministry of stewardship?