I love visiting new churches! It’s always insightful for me to see how different ministries operate on Sunday morning. One thing I pay really close attention to is how they lead their congregations through the giving process. I recently visited a church that, despite experiencing exponential growth for several years, was clearly struggling to meet their budget needs. I couldn’t help but wonder why — and then it hit me: There was no offering and no mention of how to give other than through boxes in the back of the worship hall. Giving and generosity was treated as an afterthought. I wondered no more!
Whenever I talk with a church leader about cultivating generosity in their church, there are three questions I always ask: Is your church making it easy for people to give? Are you intentional about helping people connect generosity to spiritual growth? Are you inspiring people to be part of the work your church is doing through giving?
As our culture changes, our giving habits change as well. Today I want to share with you a few ideas I recently shared with ChurchMag about developing a culture of generosity.
How to develop a culture of transformational generosity in your church
If you want to develop a culture of generosity in your church, here are three things you must do:
- Don’t minimize the offering. Many pastors seem afraid to make the offering experience a meaningful one. It is one of the most important parts of the Sunday experience. Minimizing or apologizing for it only reinforces negative stereotypes. If you handle the offering well, believers are greatly blessed and seekers are greatly intrigued.
- Tell stories about ministry that has been made possible through people’s generosity. The best way to help people connect with the blessing of being generous is through stories and testimonies. Make story time a regular part of your Sunday experience. The more you communicate the impact of people’s time, talent, and treasure, the more other people will want to be a part of it.
- Allow people to give the same way they manage the rest of their finances. Few things irritate me more than church leaders trying to control how people give. Experience and research have told us over and over again that people are more generous when we make it easy for them. When we limit their options because of our own fears about technology and credit, we only frustrate people and diminish their desire to support our mission.
Creating a culture of generosity can be done by being intentional with the process, removing barriers to giving, and celebrating the impact of a group of people living it out.
How are you developing a culture of generosity in your church?