How to Talk to Your Congregation About Giving
As pastors and church leaders, our heart is to share the good news of Jesus and help our communities. One of our many roles as teachers is to share God’s Word on all topics and to inspire our church members to build God’s Kingdom here on earth. One of the easiest things to preach on is salvation and the life change that it brings. On the other hand, the most dreaded sermon to have to write and preach is one on tithing.
As difficult as it may be, our ability to carry out the vision that God has given us is directly affected by the financial health of our churches. It takes finances to host vacation bible school for the children, pay the utility bills every month and to meet our community’s needs through outreach opportunities. In order for our churches to move the ball down the field we must routinely talk to our congregations about seizing the opportunity to give back to God from what He has already given to us.
One of the most impactful statements that I have ever heard in regard to money was– “the only ‘things’ that we can take to heaven are people.” There is no way for us to take cars, boats, houses or 401Ks to heaven. Helping our congregants understand this, and therefore steward their finances in a way that prioritizes the church is the best way to ensure that material things of this world are being used to make a way for eternities in heaven.
While there is no magic formula to help our church members see the beauty of giving, there are some practical things that we can do to help them understand the importance of it and find joy in giving.
How can we help our congregations see the eternal return on their investment in the local church?
We must routinely integrate giving sermons in our rotation of teaching topics
Every Sunday is someone’s first Sunday– we can not assume that our people know what God’s Word says about giving.
God’s Word is living and active. It has the power to impact us in different ways at different times and stages of life (Hebrews 4:12).
The offering time in a service is another opportunity to usher our congregations into surrendering their finances to God.
MLK gave the I have a dream speech, not the I have a plan speech
Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).
We must continually share the vision that God has given us to reach our community.
Always share the “why” not just the “what”.
We must routinely give opportunities for offerings beyond the tithe
We can never assume our congregation knows of extra needs that our church is trying to meet.
Christmas campaigns or end of the year offerings give our congregation a special opportunity to be generous.
Celebration and accountability are key
We must continually celebrate how God has been working through our churches.
We must always be above reproach in how we steward church finances (Titus 1:7).
An end of the year report is a great way to celebrate and show an account of how we stewarded what we as a church were entrusted with.
We are called as pastors and church leaders to help people live in freedom in all areas of their life. Finances is one that many people live in bondage to. Through routinely preaching about tithes and offerings we can watch our congregations step into more fully serving God. At the same time God will use their faithful giving to continue to build His Kingdom here. Despite the awkwardness and negativity surrounding talking about giving, the spiritual and eternal implications make it all worth it!