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); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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