How to Increase Giving at a Small Church
As a small church, you rely heavily (if not entirely) on the giving of your church’s congregation. Giving is important for a variety of reasons – not only does it allow you to cover all base expenses, but reliable, recurring giving enables you to more accurately forecast your budget. This makes it easier to meet church goals of hiring staff, upgrading equipment, moving venues, funding missionaries, or any other goals your church may have in mind for the future.
However, at small churches, it can be difficult to establish a giving-commitment mindset in your congregation members. And you know more than anyone – it’s not about making congregation members give more. It’s about establishing a committed community of believers who are invested in supporting and growing their home church and giving as an act of worship to further the Kingdom of God.
Small Churches: Steps to Increase Weekly Giving
Weekly giving is so important for churches of any size. If your church is struggling to increase giving, there a few things you can do to encourage your congregation to tithe consistently for the sake of growing the church and empowering you to spread the gospel.
Here are a couple practices you can put in place to encourage a healthy giving mindset in your church:
1) Connect Giving to Stories
People give to causes they’re excited about. The issue with giving in ministry is that congregation members are often out of touch with what their money is going towards. Staff? Gear? Missions? Youth? Everyone is left to assumptions with no real connection to a cause, leaving them emotionally uninvested in giving to the church.
Congregation members want to hear what their giving is going towards. And it doesn’t need to be a big, grandiose, heartfelt cause! If your church needs a soundboard for basic worship needs, let your congregation know where you’re at and where the money is going towards. The more informed your congregation is, the more they feel “part of the cause” and excited about giving.
2) Make it Easy
How easy is it to give at your church? Is it just a bucket in the back? Do you have ushers passing buckets around? Is online giving an option?
If you want to increase giving at your church, you have to make it incredibly easy to do so. For starters, if you aren’t passing buckets around, start asking a couple congregation members if they are willing to usher on a Sunday morning by passing around giving buckets.
Also, has your church taken steps towards making online giving an option? It’s surprisingly easy. A simple Google search for “Online Church Giving Tools” will render tons of simple solutions to set up online giving platforms. Whether it’s through 3rd party sources or simple do-it-yourself web design tools that plug into platforms such as WordPress, it doesn’t have to take more than a few hours to setup an online payment portal for congregation members to give to your church.
Online giving is just another step towards making giving easier for congregation members at your church.
3) Encourage Recurring Giving
You don’t want to “force” giving on your church congregation, but make it known that recurring giving is an option. It’s frequently the case that we all intend to give to our church but we simply end up getting caught in the business of life and forget to do so.
If you have any web design friends, or are willing to put in a couple hours of research yourself, many of the afore mentioned online tools can be configured in such a way so as to support recurring gifts. This type of automatic giving is a great way to allow congregation members to tithe a base amount per week/month, and it both helps members remember to give as well as allows your church to budget based on minimum expected giving.
It’s not about “getting more money”; it’s about being good stewards of your finances and managing the money God provides your ministry. These tools are excellent resources for everyone involved.
4) Commitment Cards Towards a Goal
If your church is currently trying to meet a certain financial goal – a new building, planting a church, etc. – sometimes passing out “commitment cards” is a great way to raise additional finances for large projects.
Essentially, this is an anonymous card that says, “I can commit to giving $______ per month for the next 6 months”. This isn’t meant to force or lock anyone into a giving agreement, and these shouldn’t be used on a regular basis. Giving commitment cards are often used in the midst of a bigger financial goal to both 1) establish the church’s need for a particular purchase/financial commitment, 2) help each individual congregation member feel they are contributing to a specific, real cause, and 3) to bring clarity to church staff regarding when they’ll be able to meet a certain church financial goal.
These cards should always be anonymous – once again, you’re not tying anyone down to a commitment. This is you asking them to pray and make a giving commitment between them and God in a way that clears ambiguity for church staff when planning budget and timelines.
The Main Point
Giving can feel like such an awkward thing to talk about on Sunday mornings. However, it’s important to remember that these topics are ok to give attention to, because it’s not about making people give more money. It’s about being transparent with your congregation regarding the churches needs and how their finances are being used, as well as giving them solutions to easily contribute to the church’s growth!
About the Author
Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as TAYA, Big Daddy Weave, and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the worship music scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris is the Motion Designer at Motion Worship, helping to create motion background collections and countdowns for our subscribers.