8 Reasons Why NOT Passing an Offering Plate Doesn’t Make SenseMark Brooks
Let me give you my 8 reasons why not passing the plate doesn’t make sense for any church. The current trend among churches is to NOT take up an offering. Here is something startling, those churches experience a 15% loss in giving! In a recent study it was found that churches that don’t actually pass a plate, bucket, basket or some other means of collecting money, take in 15% less annually than churches of the same size. So if you think the offering time is a waste of time or is offensive just whack off 15% because that is what you will lose.
If this is true why then do some churches shy away from taking up the offering or do away with it altogether? They are more interested in attracting a crowd than making disciples.
2 Reasons Why Churches Stopped Passing the Plate – I find two major reasons pastors give for NOT taking up an offering during the service. The typical response I got from church leaders before the pandemic was that people are turned off by churches talking about money. You will hear pastor say, “We canvassed our community before we started our church and found that one of the biggest reasons people avoid church is they think all we talk about is money.” I bet you have heard that right? This is the major reason given as to why a church does not pass the plate. So, in effect they are allowing non-churched people to dictate the practices of the church. Then came Covid and out of fear of spreading that virus nearly ever church stopped passing the plate in an attempt to help people feel safer and thus attract back the crowd they craved. Both reasons are wrong.
8 Reasons Why Not Passing the Plate Doesn’t Make Sense – Here are seven reasons why I think not taking up an offering is wrong…
The pandemic is over. Why are we still avoiding touching things well after the CDC has stated the virus doesn’t spread by surface contact? In April of 2021, the CDC revised its position on the virus to say there is no significant risk of catching Covid from a surface or object. If Covid is the reason you are NOT passing the plate you have fallen prey to fear not facts. No one in your church will die if you pass the plate so start passing the plate!
Jesus never worried about gaining a crowd and talked more about money and finances than any other subject. Read Jesus’ encounter with the Rich Young Ruler. When the young man walked away sad at Jesus’ bold claim about his money, Jesus let him go. Think about that. Shouldn’t we attempt to be more like Jesus?
Offerings are mentioned repeatedly throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Using BibleGateway I discovered that “offering” comes up 728 times in the Bible and “offerings” comes up 268 times. If we are not talking about offerings or taking up offerings we are essentially cutting out about 1,000 verses in the Bible. (By the way, where was the Internet when I was in seminary?)
The offering is worship so why would we forbid or make it hard for people to worship God through their tithes and offerings? Do you tell people before your service that they don’t HAVE to sing or do you just start singing and invite them to join you? How is that any different from asking people to join you in the worshipful act of giving?
Studies show that churches rarely talk about money if at all. I once had a church member tell me that his pastor talked too much about money. I knew that in that last year the pastor had preached only once on money. When I pointed that out to the church member he simply shrugged. I learned then that one sermon a year was one too many for those who truly are not disciples.
Nobody complains when non-profits talk about money and giving. One reason why I believe is because non-profits always make a case for the appeal for your money. They know that it is not THAT you ask for money but HOW you ask for the gift that matters. People react to churches appeals not because we ask for money but how we ask. Typically instead of making a case for the offering we lay down the guilt gauntlet. Instead of changing our methods we need to change our message!
Your church is changing the world for good and as such it is worth funding. Thank God for the Red Cross. However, your mission is more important than theirs. We are literally about saving the world. Why would we NOT ask people to participate in that by giving?
You can’t afford to lose 15%! Back to my starting point. Churches that don’t pass the plate are costing themselves 15% less in operating money.
Keep passing the plate or whatever you use! Work to make your offering times worshipful and impactful and you will see your offerings increase.
Find out how to effectively take up the offering in my new playbook called, “The 21st Century Offering: It’s Not Dead; But It Is Different.” I give you my insights AND 53 offering talks schedule for every weekend of 2023! Check it out here, https://acts17generosity.com/shop/the-21st-century-offering
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach