How I Write Offering TalksMark Brooks
Since no one I know has written more offering talks than I have, I thought it would be good to share with you how I write offering talks. I actually got the idea for this post as I was writing, actually typing, next week’s offering talk for those that subscribe to my newsletter, “The Stewardship Coach.” I’ll end this post by giving you an offering talk I wrote.
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First, let me state my premise with regards to taking up the offering. This drives everything. I believe in what the local church does. So much so that I believe it should be fully funded. I believe that disciples of Jesus should be generous in their support of Kingdom work. Why wouldn’t they give to what their local church was doing?
I also believe that the offering IS worship not an interruption OF worship. So, I believe it should be done with excellence and that it deserves time in the service. As a result, I don’t work for my offering talks to be short. I work on them being effective. Granted, you can’t go on and on and on. Yet, hurry is the death of anything. Being fully funded is too important to rush through the process.
So, from that beginning point of assumption, I move into crafting the “ask,” for that offering. I know I have limited time and that typically most view the offering as an interruption.
So I work to…
Get their attention immediately. I like to use timely events like sports or focus on things that everyone is talking about. For the upcoming offering talk listed below, I used the impact of COVID on Halloween as the topic and introduction.
After I have their attention I want to move to…
Show them what the church is doing and how it is making a difference in the community and world. Why? Because people give to that which is making a difference. You might list specific things like how many just attended VBS or some other ministry initiative. It could be stated as simply an overarching concept much as what the offering talk listed below mentions. The point is to help them make the connection that a gift given in today’s offering WILL make an impact for the Kingdom.
Here are some other keys I use in writing offering talks…
- I never use guilt. Guilt doesn’t work to accomplish what you really want, a long time cheerful giver.
- I try to thank them often for their generosity. Assume they will give, thank them for giving and you will find…they will give!
- I change how I say what I say so that what I say will never become dry and boring.
- I use Scripture often to reinforce what I am saying and to teach long term generosity. Never assume those in attendance will magically “get” generosity. Teach it so they will live it!
- 120 seconds or less. That is my time goal. Some argue that is too long. I argue back that since the offering IS worship it deserves at least two minutes. We give time to what we deem important. Trust me, your staff wants to get paid. Help them see that giving 120 seconds of time to the offering is in everyone’s best interest.
That is some of the things that run through my mind each week as I write another offering talk. Put those same principles to work at your church and I believe you will see an increase in giving.
Now here is the offering talk I wrote that gave me the idea for this post. Let me know how it works out for you.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
COVID-19 has changed everything and now it has essentially killed Halloween! I don’t know about you but next to Christmas and my birthday, Halloween was my favorite time of the year. What’s not to love about dressing up and going out to receive free candy? Unfortunately, in 2020 Halloween has been cancelled in most places. A recent survey found that just 35% of Americans plan on passing out candy this year. Yet despite COVID-19, Americans plan to shell out $7.4 billion — about $78 per person — on costumes, candy, cards and decorations. 1
Perhaps, like many things today, Halloween is not cancelled it is simply different. We are finding creative ways to continue on with our lives in the face of this pandemic. Nowhere is that more clear than in the sale of candy. Our need for candy, especially chocolate, is pandemic and recession proof. One source reported this:
“U.S. sales of Halloween candy were up 13% over last year in the month ending Sept. 6, according to data from market research firm IRI and the National Confectioners Association. That’s a bigger jump than the usual single-digit increases. Sales of Halloween chocolate alone are up 25%.”2 My question is, who is eating all that candy? I think we know the answer!
All of this made me wonder about what would happen if, instead of spending billions of dollars on candy that we can’t pass out, we gave to help give children hope and a future. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good candy bar. Yet, our spending reveals much about our priorities.
Every time we gather, in person or online, we give you a chance to worship through the offering. Your giving is an obedient act of thanksgiving to God who provides all our needs. It also helps fuel the ministry of this church. A huge part of what we do here is minister to children. While that has been a challenge due to COVID-19, our mission to raise up the Next Gen of disciples for Christ will never change. Your generosity allows us to impact scores of children.
This year we might not be able to hand out candy, but we hand out something far more valuable, we hand out hope! So, join me in worship today by giving generously so we can continue sharing the hope of the Gospel.