Evaluating Giving in Your Church
Creating a culture of generosity is a matter of spiritual formation, as we call people to faithfully submit to Christ in every aspect of their lives. But there are practical considerations that leaders must address in order for this formational teaching to take hold and flourish. Each quarter, we will discuss timely conversations you may wish to have with your vestry regarding giving.
This quarter, consider the tangible mechanisms of giving in your church. Often, decisions about how individuals and families can give were made years ago based on circumstances that may or may not be relevant today.
If your church is not efficiently receiving gifts and clearly communicating how to give, that’s a problem. First, because you are not faithfully stewarding what has been offered. And second, because you are creating barriers to individuals’ worship through giving.
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, TAKE SOME TIME TO REASSESS HOW PEOPLE GIVE AND HOW THAT INFORMATION IS COMMUNICATED. HERE ARE SOME BASIC QUESTIONS TO GET YOU STARTED:
- How many different ways can people give to your church? Balance a need for simplicity with an understanding of the diverse ways your people handle their ﬁnances.
- How do most people currently give at our church? Identify the most reliable, cost-effective ways for people to give regularly and create a communication plan to guide givers to those avenues.
- How is giving integrated into worship and spiritual formation? Make sure that giving practices are part of the spiritual life of your church, not just an administrative necessity.
- How easy is it to give? Ask your Vestry to ‘practice’ giving small amounts using each giving method and identify what works best.
- What other options exist? Even if you are satisfied with your current portals, take some time to evaluate what else is out there – platforms, features, and prices change all the time. Don’t assume what was best a year ago is best now.
- What would it take to make a change? Before getting too excited about moving to new ways of giving, make sure you have a clear strategy to ensure individuals and families aren’t lost in the shuffle.