When Taking Up the Offering…Never Apologize!Mark Brooks
If I could give you one piece of advice as you head into this week’s offering time, it would be…
When taking up the offering…Never Apologize!
Before you think that you never do that, consider this. Do you ever before the offering is taken up say something like this…
As we take up the offering today, if you are a guest, please don’t feel like you have to give. The offering time is a time for our members.
That is what I call an apology. It’s like saying, please forgive us while we interrupt worship to do the unseemly, asking people to give to support what we do here.
When you do this, you devalue the offering by casting it as not an important part of worship and how we respond to God. Thus you are asking guests to disconnect from worship that can be meaningful and impactful.
The other aspect of what I call the apology is that you insult their intelligence. Guests can figure out that giving is optional as they watch your other attendees pass the plate by without putting anything in it.
The first step towards improving your offering is to stop apologizing for taking up the offering. Instead…
Make the offering time positive, not negative. I believe part of the reason laypeople begrudge pastors talking about money and giving is how we approach it ourselves. Start with a positive attitude, not a negative one, and you will be surprised at the difference.
It is not that churches talk too much about money; it is that we do not talk about it enough. Often when we do talk about it, we do so in a way that alienates our listeners. Bashing people over the head with the Bible might get donations up one week, but they will revert to their old ways the next. Make the process joyous and delightful, not a drudgery. How do you do that?
Tell your story! People will give when they know that their donations are going towards making a difference. My recommendation is for churches to focus on all the various ministries the church does. Show members how their donations are impacting the world around them. That more than banging them over the head with the Bible, will motivate them to give. Smart charities always begin their appeal with stories of success. Churches should do the same. Showing me how my gift makes a difference motivates me to give more.
Teach that generosity is a part of being a disciple of Jesus. Why do we apologize for something that Jesus talked so much about? Why do we apologize for something so crucial to the life of the church and the life of the giver? Giving is a part of the discipline of the Christian life.
Plan out what will be said for each and every offering. You plan for every element of the service, including the announcements. So, why don’t we plan out the offering time? Spend time every week on a short message that creates in everyone, guest, and member, the desire to WANT to give.
Join my Team and get a weekly offering talk sent directly to you! Check it out here, https://acts17generosity.com/memberships/
Don’t rush the offering. For most churches, the offering is an afterthought. It’s in our way. We hurry to get it over with so that we can move to the things we feel are more important. If you and your staff have that kind of attitude, don’t be surprised if you don’t make budget this year.
Taking the above steps will ensure that you have better offerings. It starts with you!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach