The 1 Mistake That Dooms Giving

The 1 Mistake That Dooms Giving

The 1 mistake that dooms giving comes when churches say, “As we come to our time of offering today if you are a guest visiting us, please don’t feel like you have to give. The offering time is for our members.” It’s what I call the Apology. I have lost track of how many times I have heard this comment from the platform of top 100 churches to churches running 100. While it might sound like a good idea, it is the number one mistake a church can make and it will doom your giving.

Don’t get me wrong, those that say this mean well. Those that use the apology line or something similar know that if you ask the average person what they don’t like about church many will say, “all the church talks about is money.” Factually this is not true, but when have facts mattered? Perception is the cruelest form of reality and too many church leaders believe that to attract guests they must downplay the offering. Many churches have done away with taking up an offering altogether.

What is the harm of telling guests they don’t have to participate in the offering? Here is a quick list:

  1. It devalues the worship aspect of giving. Do you tell guests they don’t have to sing? Giving is worship and telling guests they don’t have to give is like telling them not to worship.
  2. It misses a teachable moment. Studies show that younger generations are much less generous than their grandparents and parents. Could the devaluation of the offering be a leading cause?
  3. It causes guests to miss the blessing of giving. We don’t give to get but the promises of God are clear that generosity is rewarded by blessings from Him.
  4. It ignores the true reason why people complain that all churches talk about is money. Few have ever thought of why people feel churches talk too much about money when the reality is most churches, apart from the offering, never talk about money. My contention is that it is not that we talk too much about money but how we do talk about it when talk about it. We fail to connect for guests what a gift in the offering accomplishes.

Consider how and why non-profits raise billions of dollars every year. Consider this,

Why is it that the Red Cross asks people to give money and yet no one ever complains that all they ask for is money? What about the American Cancer Society? Take some time and go to your favorite charity website. What you will see is a story of a crisis that produces a need for which your gift can and will make a difference. They never ask for money without first making a case for the dollars they want you to give.

I call this connecting the dots. Applying this to your offering times, either live steaming or on-campus, you should always tell a story of how a dollar given to your church will make a difference in the world. Every offering should have an offering talk that helps everyone see the value of giving to your church.

By changing how you ask people to give you will correct the number 1 mistake that dooms giving. Let’s make people want to give by showing them the value and worth of giving!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach

@stewardshipman