Why You Need a Come From Behind StrategyMark Brooks
We are in the midst of one of the most difficult times for the offering which is why you must have a come-from-behind strategy. You probably think I am referring to COVID19. Actually, the summer months, especially July, is the most challenging time a church faces in terms of giving. The summer months mean lower attendance and all too often Mickey gets God’s dollar! Now stir in all the COVID19 craziness and you have the perfect storm.
Reviews on the state of giving are mixed. A few churches have seen an increase or are at least around where they were. Most have seen a slight to modest decline while others have faced major declines. Another reason why you need a come-from-behind strategy is that without a strategy it’s highly unlikely you will close that giving gap. Yes, God works miracles but in my experience money doesn’t grow on trees or fall from the sky.
Why you need a come-from-behind strategy is easy to explain, even without a pandemic. The question is, how do you increase giving when you are behind? Before we start showing you how to let me answer another question. Is it possible to come from behind in giving? Absolutely! Let’s establish a few basic points needed to set the stage for a successful come-from-behind strategy.
First, don’t panic. Appeals that come from a place of panic actually do more harm than good. Letters and emails that appear desperate exude a sense of panic, not confidence. Donors are hesitant to give to any organizations that might sink right after their gift clears the bank. So, my advice for any come from behind strategy is that you,
Be positive. How do you accomplish that when you are behind in giving and worried about paying the staff? Go back to why your church exists. Instead of saying, help we are behind in giving focus on what you have been doing. Tell the story of life change and people will give to support that. Talk about how a dollar given at your church makes a difference for the Kingdom. Focus on what you will be doing and how a gift to your church will make that life-changing ministry happen. When you put a vision around the appeal it is much more likely that people will give. Here is another important point,
Be realistic. Too often we have overly expectant optimism about what can be raised. My goal when I develop a come-from-behind giving strategy for any church is to set our goal of at least the equivalent of what one week’s offering would be. If you raise more, great but a realistic goal gives you the “win” you need. Most important of all,
Get a plan and work your plan! You can’t wake up at 7 AM on Sunday morning and think that you can hold a come from behind strategy that day. The lack of plans is a major reason churches get behind and why they seldom if ever catch up. If what you were doing was working you would not be behind. So, it’s time to look at doing something different in an attempt to change our results. A good plan accomplishes that for you.
One final piece of advice, get started developing your come-from-behind giving strategy ASAP! When you lag behind the leader in a race the further you let them get ahead of you the harder it is to catch up. The sooner you start your come from behind giving strategy the easier it will be to close the gap. The longer you take the harder it will be until you are too far behind to ever catch up. Then, the budget cuts start and everything is on the table including your salary.
The number one reason why you need a come from behind giving strategy is that the mission of your church is too important to not be fully funded.
Download my playbook, “Recovering the Lost Offering(s) of COVID-19” at https://acts17generosity.com/shop/recovering-the-lost-offering-of-covid-19/
Let’s get started closing your giving gap!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach