It’s common sense: Church leaders can’t expect people to grow in generosity if it’s not talked about.
While some leaders try to avoid the topic at all costs, the truth is most churchgoers aren’t as resistant to talking about money as we think. In fact, many already give to a variety of organizations and causes.
This shows there is a gap to fill between what we know the Bible says about money and our willingness to act on what we know.
Talking about money in church can be tough for the person on the platform and the person in the crowd. But it’s not impossible to do—and do well. You just need to better understand what to say and when to say it.
To help, here are 10 quick things people want before they start giving:
People want to know that they matter to their church. The act of giving is an emotional response—not a pragmatic one. If someone doesn’t feel valued or connected, they won’t be willing to give.
People want to know how their giving makes a difference. Today’s givers will invest their time in organizations that make a difference. If they think what they can give doesn’t matter, then they will invest their giving dollars elsewhere.
People want to know how their resources will be used. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of cultivating a culture of generosity. People today want financial transparency.
People want to know and see the vision they are giving toward. The vision of the church should drive the investment of its resources. That’s why communicating the vision—your preferred future—is vital to the conversation about money.
People want to know the plan for reaching that vision. If leaders of the church talk about their dreams for the future but don’t have a step-by-step plan for moving toward the vision, people will grow weary and stop believing the vision.
People want to know how they can start giving from where they are right now. Some people need to learn why to give and how to give. Educate people about giving, and they will give for a long time. Coerce them into giving, and they will eventually tune you out.
People want to know how to reorder their life priorities. Many people who don’t give don’t see how much of a blessing giving can be. They need someone to help them reorder their life priorities. This is where church leaders come in.
People want to know how they can get involved in the ministry they are financially supporting. Some people would give more if they had an active role in the ministries of the church. If you want people to support the student ministry, look for ways to get them involved and serving in that ministry.
People want to know the traction the church is making because of their generosity. Some church leaders don’t want to give people constant updates, especially when the numbers aren’t meeting expectations. However, providing honest updates on the progress your church is making because of the financial contributions of your members will provide the transparency and showcase the progress your church is making in fulfilling its mission.
People want to know who has experienced life change because of their generosity. With today’s technology, there is no reason for people to be unaware of the ways their money is being used to change lives. These stories should become celebratory moments in the life of the church.
For more insights into each of these statements, you can download our latest resource from Bill McMillan and Kem Meyer for free here. You can also find more resources on communicating vision and cultivating generosity in your church here.
How are you encouraging people to give for the first time in your church? How are you measuring results?