9 Reasons What You Say About Giving Goes Unheard

At some point every church leader needs to get in front of their community and ask them to give to the mission. These moments can be some of the most awkward moments ever in your services. As a leader you feel like a slimy used car salesmen … while your people look down at their shoes and just hope you will just stop!

It doesn’t have to be that way! Asking people to join the mission through giving to your church can be as vibrant as any other part of your services. Here are some things you need to avoid to make the “giving talk” less awkward.

  • The why is unclear. // Make sure that every time you talk about the finances at your church you start with the vision behind what you do with the money. Go out of your way to connect the dots between the finances of your ministry and difference it’s making in people’s lives.
  • You’re being too cold. // People make decisions about giving to any cause based on emotions. When you focus too much on charts, data and statistics and not connect with the heart people get turned off. Engage people’s emotions with giving to your mission.
  • It’s not personal enough. // People want to help individuals not the mass. Tell stories about individuals that are being impacted by your ministry … don’t just talk about what the “youth group” is doing … personalize it down to an individual being impacted by the mission.
  • Giving doesn’t make you smile. // God loves a cheerful giver … so why are you so solemn every time you talk about giving to the mission of your church? People love being generous … it literally makes them feel good. It should make you happy to talk about it!
  • You’re telling not asking. // People want to join a team … they want to be a part of the solution … they want to offer what they have to accomplish the mission. Our language needs to be inclusive and inviting people to be a part of the solution not telling them what “we” are doing and need “you” to give towards. Giving to your church is a tangible way that your community expresses it’s communal self. People want in on that … they don’t want to just pay your bills.
  • You’re not bought in! // Do you sacrificially give to the mission? People can sense if you aren’t bought in … just sayin’
  • Detail people aren’t getting the details. // There are people in your church that want the details on exactly how the money is being spent and if you don’t make those available they won’t give. They’re not “being nosey” or “asking too many questions” … they are wired towards the details and you can draw these people in to help your ministry. Make your financial records as open and accessible as possible.
  • No Pictures. // About 65% of your church are visual learners … just talking about why people should give to your church without showing a compelling picture or two is missing a large percentage of your audience. (Pie charts aren’t pictures … these need to be images that show the mission of the church in action.)
  • You’re always talking about money. // You have to earn the right to talk about money with your people. Every time you craft an experience where you are asking people to join you financially in the mission … you need to ask yourself if you earn the right for the next time to talk about money. Don’t use pressure in any form … cast the vision and ask people to join and then leave the response up to them and God.

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Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
— Glenna Hendricks
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright

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