If you’re trying to communicate the collecting of church offerings, don’t let your congregation down. Often in our services, the offering time has become relegated to a time for checking phones, the time for a musical selection, or seen as an abrupt interruption to the flow of worship. In other churches, it’s barely mentioned! Of course, if you’ve grown up in church, you know the offering’s importance. But for some, the offering is burdened with the perception that the church is all about money. Or if someone’s new to the church, they may have no idea why an offering is needed.
The church’s communication role in collecting church offerings can make or break the experience. Concentrate too heavily and the congregation’s perception becomes negative and nagging; yet if you don’t communicate enough, you risk people not fully understanding its purpose. We need to get the difficult balance just right.
Here are 3 essentials of how to communicate collecting church offerings:
- It’s an act of worship. Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. The offering is a worship issue. Do we trust our treasure or do we trust God? The congregation can view gifts as a simple charity act but it’s far more than that. It’s part of our worship services so members have the ability to worship God through giving. Some churches have even removed “passing the offering plate” to save time or because of COVID. Be careful. Don’t eliminate this critical act of worship that should be a natural response to God in thanksgiving. Even when a church directs the congregation to give online or through automatic bank transfer, allow them time to worship during the service and recognize Who supplies for our needs. Some utilize a simple Offering Card in the seat-back to be used to commemorate their bank transfer. It allows them to experience the worship time!
- Don’t treat collecting church offerings as a routine. Parts of our worship service have become so routine and regular that we ignore them. When you communicate collecting offerings effectively, you call attention to why we do it. The Bible doesn’t dictate the order of our worship services. So, to draw attention to something, do it at a different time or in a different manner. God loves the worship of His people! But for many, the offering isn’t even noticed as it occurs routinely. Call people to worship in a way they notice and in a way they would want to participate.
- Inspire generosity through stories of life change. A church shouldn’t need to justify how collected money is used (but it may be wise to do it with transparency). However, many in the church don’t understand why offerings are needed! People do give to perceived needs and will often step up to contribute to ministries that they understand well. Help them do that. Generosity through worship is best communicated through stories of lives changed. Regularly have someone share their story in the service: how God supplied their needs, how God blessed them when they worshipped Him, or how the church’s ministry changed their story. Perhaps controlled, short, edited videos of stories work better. Demonstrating how the church is generous will often inspire your membership to do the same.