What you say (or don’t say) impacts what your people give (or don’t give). There’s a direct correlation between the two. And, if done well, you can increase the generosity of your church by implementing a basic (but strategic) communication plan.
That’s the premise of our new e-book called “Generosity Speaks: Designing Communication to Impact Giving” launching here in just a few short weeks.
I’ve teamed up with Kaycee Parker, founder of KP Communications, to write this one. I know you’ll appreciate her insight from 15 years of experience in the communication world – namely the last few as communication director for a mega church in the St. Louis area and now working freelance to support churches across the country.
So what’s in this new resource designed to help you accelerate generosity with solid and intentional communication? Here’s a quick list of wins for you and your church:
Last weekend was awesome! I had the privilege of worshiping in a brand new worship center at a church I’ve been partnering with for the last couple years – Harvester Christian Church in the greater St. Louis area. It was their grand opening weekend, and excitement filled the air.
It was a blessing for me to see the fruit of their dedication and efforts, and to celebrate with them. Seeing what happened that day, and hearing of what happened at another church a colleague of mine has been coaching, made me want to share these successes with you – to encourage you and to give you ideas on how to make something similar very special for your people. So here are several ways to ensure the success of your church’s grand opening.
1. Conduct a Soft Opening
Much like a new restaurant serves their family and friends before opening the doors to the public, it is wise to have a soft opening a weekend or two prior to your publicized grand opening.
A few years ago I wrote a blog post called “Eleven Reasons NOT to Offer Online Giving” – a rare tongue-in-cheek post meant to encourage the implementation of electronic giving solutions in churches across the country. It’s a quick and easy read if you want to revisit it. But little did I know then just how relevant that post would prove itself today.
This summer a Dunham+Company / Campbell Rinker study showed only 42% of churches in the US offer an electronic giving option. Less than half. While larger churches have an increased likelihood of having electronic giving solutions, that percentage drops to 29% in churches with fewer than 200 in attendance.
While the percentages themselves may not surprise you, another recent Campbell Rinker study showed that 70% of other (non-church) non-profit organizations offer online giving. Now there’s a discrepancy worth talking about!
What’s the difference? Non-profit organizations throughout the country (of which there are over 1.5 million currently, by the way) understand the importance of this technology. It’s really pretty simple: Non-profits employ giving technology because it works. Your people have a choice where they give, and these non-profits make it easy for the giver.
People just don’t like to talk about money. Maybe you’ve already come to that conclusion. But did you know this? More people dislike talking about money than death or politics or taxes. (Yes, you read that right!)
A survey from Wells Fargo last year revealed “nearly half of Americans say the most challenging topic to discuss with others is personal finance.”
It’s not just your church. It’s not just the people at your church. No one seems to like it!
Interestingly, although conversations about money seem to be avoided or heated, financial concerns are staying top-of-mind. Two in five people in the survey said money is the source of the most stress in their life, and one in three people said they’ve lost sleep worrying over finances.
And when you look generationally, 71% reported learning to spend and save from their parents, but only one-third of today’s parents reported teaching these principles to their children. You see, there’s a fallout happening.
Last Friday more than 250 church leaders across the country listened in on a moderated discussion on the topic of generosity and technology.
I was honored to be a part of the conversation, along with Derek Gillette of Pushpay and eChurchGiving, and DJ Chuang a strategy consultant.
In case you missed the webinar live, you can watch it now without a login or email address required.
And be sure to listen for the question asked by a participant that we couldn’t answer! (You guys ask really tough questions!) In case you’re interested in a good laugh, it happened around 26:45 in. Sometimes even a panel of experts doesn’t know the answer!
During this one-hour conversation, we covered some really compelling points:
- The recently changing methods of giving, and maintaining the worship of the offering moment.
- Church attendance rates – how they’re impacting giving, and how the church should adapt.
- How leaders can improve communication around giving to encourage future gifts.
- Best practices learned after working with thousands of churches to increase generosity.
- The importance of technology for new and future generations of givers.
Now that my latest e-book has launched, I’m happy to let you know about a related webinar I’m really excited about! This Thursday, June 18, I’ll be partnering with my friends at Pushpay to take a behind-the-scenes look at the stories, stats, and best practices of churches using technology to inspire generosity.
So, first, in case you haven’t already downloaded and read my e-book “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving” I would encourage you to do that right now. I’ve heard from several pastors across the country they really appreciate its easy-to-read format and practical application.
If you have already downloaded this free resource, I want to thank you! Please let me know what you think. I greatly value your feedback and input as I continue to serve you.
And please join me for the webinar, too! I will be joined by Derek Gillette of Pushpay, and DJ Chuang, a church tech specialist who both have loads of experience and expertise in this area.
In this 60-minute webinar we will cover topics like:
What should the online giving experience look like? What giving technologies are most efficient and effective? How can my church afford to employ new giving technologies? How do we reach every generation of givers in the church?
Do these questions resonate with you? I bet as a church leader you’ve asked something along these lines at some point in time because you know the importance of generosity in the church.
I’m happy to provide you the answers to these questions today! It’s all in my newest resource, an e-book titled “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving.” And this 37-page e-book is available to you today for free!
The bulk of the e-book actually gets pretty practical. Once you download it you’ll quickly find:
- resolution to some common giving technology myths
- teaching on how to reach Millennials (the future givers of your church)
- guidance on how to remove the hurdles of online giving
- examples of the ideal online giving experience
- recommendations on giving technology to consider
- a self-analysis to help you understand your current position in the realm of giving technology
How do you grow generous hearts? As a pastor you’ve probably asked yourself (and your other pastor friends) that very question. How do you accelerate generosity in your church? How do you help people take the next step in their giving journey? How do you encourage your people to live radically generous lives?
You’re not alone. The team at Generis is asking those same questions, and with more than 600 years of combined ministry and consulting experience on the team, we have a few answers to share.
With the launch of the new Generis website, you can find some of those answers while our team continues growing generous hearts toward God-inspired vision.
Giving is perhaps the best spiritual tool we have in our inventory – and often the most ignored. As a result, many church leaders find themselves in a giving rut, stuck in habits and routines that limit the generosity of their people. (We talked about those habits in my last post.)
But today I’d like to focus on the solutions. What can church leaders do when they find themselves stuck in routines that actually work against growing the generosity of their church? I’d like to propose six solutions to get you started.
1. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO IMPLEMENT CHANGE. SLOWLY.
When you realize you need to make a change, the first thing to do is give yourself permission. Change things up when they need to be changed. But do it slowly. Gradually.