“Giving” and “offering” are words that make every minister shy — Your pastor isn’t called to panhandle for offerings.
Nobody wants to be a televangelist during this pandemic. Even to mention “online giving” will trigger the haters on Facebook.
Right now — creative and brave church leaders are finding ways to impact their community. They are looking outside their congregations to spread hope like never before. Why should the supply lines get cut while the battle is getting hot?
Now is the time for faithful Christians and committed church members to step up and give more. Here are 7 reasons why.
#1. Giving is down a lot
Even when online giving is an option, it’s not been fully embraced. Considering 4/5 of church buildings were closed last week, lower giving levels are no surprise. There are lots of reasons why people don’t give normally – today I’m talking about normal givers stepping up.
#2. Expenses are only down a little
Church budgets usually devote half the money to staff salaries and roughly 1/4 to facilities. That leaves the final portion divided among missions and program expenses. Even if utility costs are down, it’s not enough to compensate for lower offerings. See more about church budgets from Tom Rainer or this PNWUMC article.
#3. Now is the time to increase OUTWARD ministry
Right now, people need to hear the hope offered in the GOSPEL. Church members need to encouraged and deployed as light in this world. Its the worst time for churches to look inward. This means brave pastors trying new ideas.
#4. Cash reserves are rare for churches
Faith-based organizations don’t hoard cash. Despite expert advice, even small rainy day funds are controversial. When churches do have savings, it’s often in restricted funds like endowments. See more at Facts & Trends or the conversation at SBC Voices.
#5. Budget cuts will hurt kids ministry
Most churches will reduce ministry expenses (like VBS or camp budget) and support staff salary first. That means youth or children’s ministry will make do with less resources. Our research shows 2/3 of kids ministry leaders are already making due with less than ideal.
#6 Financial concerns distract the pastor’s ministry
Every pastor is stressed right now. The pandemic is causing fear, sickness, and limiting public worship. There was no training in seminary for this kind of event. Declining church income will add another distraction he/she does not need. Now is the time for creative and brave ministry, strong offerings make that possible.
#7. The Bible commands faithful giving
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
2 Corinthians 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.