The big secret to getting people to give in your church is to be a giving church.
And if you are a giving church, let your members know of your giving acts. It is not mere bragging, rather it is the way that people feel connected to the church family. But there are times where the economy seems harsh and people are rationalizing their decision to give. They really want to give but they are afraid of what is left not being enough. There is a root cause of this.
The economy is never really good or bad. The popular information about what is going on only controls people’s behavior. There are bad occurrences like the lockdowns the world has experienced due to COVID-19. But people either grow from it or they run away and become less of themselves. With all the news outlets releasing a negative outlook, the church needs to release the positive.
The positive news is not words to make people feel better in the situation. Instead, the positive news is to get people to take intelligent action that transforms their lives. Some think this is the worst recession in decades, a few people believe it is the greatest wealth transformation in our lifetime. While some people are managing what they have and having less, some are getting very rich from the panic.
These are 7 tips to get people to give from a cheerful heart even during tough times:
1. Talk about the tough times of the past in your preaching
People very easily believe that the world is falling apart when something catastrophic happens on a global scale. Their hearts are gripped with fear. And they allow the fear to control their actions and decisions. One of the ways to break the cycle of fear is to put the situation in the world today into a historical perspective.
Research about other catastrophic events in history. There have been much worse times than the one we are living in. Talk about the fact that people who lived in the world during those times must have thought it is the end of the world. But it wasn’t. It came and it passed.
When people understand that there have been several terrible periods in history and a factual comparison of those times is made to this present time, they see by themselves that what we are experiencing is no big deal. Get historical pictures. Use charts. Use every means possible to give members an audio-visual experience.
When people see the challenge of their generation from a historical perspective, the fear they have dissipates. If people lived through worse, they can breeze through this.
2. Show examples of people who thrived in tough times
The greatest opportunity to get rich is during tough times. There are several examples in the Bible and in recorded history. Wealth transfer always happens during tough times. The money goes from the fearful and timid to the fearless and bold.
Fortunes are built during recessions. In many cases, the fortunes do not show themselves as what they are during the recession. But when the smoke clears, and things normalize, the value of what was created in a recession begins to grow.
Some of the most powerful companies in the world were started in a recession. Some notable examples are General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Microsoft, Airbnb, and FedEx. People must be inspired that they can create something that will change the world over the next decade.
In the Bible, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all got very rich during bad economic times. It was called a famine. And it is much worse than what we call a bad economy today. In a famine, there was literally food scarcity.
Tough economic times present tremendous opportunities to grow rich. A business strategist mentioned in an interview recently that people who will not listen to offers to partner together are now very open and seeking collaboration. This is a time where if you call or write anyone on business collaboration, they are very unlikely to turn you down.
3. Organize special meetings to help members make more money
People need to be optimistic to give. And people will gladly give when they can trace their financial progress to something they gained through the church. When people are doubtful about their future, they tend to keep what they have.
Alleviating the fears of members is the responsibility of the church. Special meetings should be organized to get members fired up to take action and make big things happen.
Special programs for business people should be created with optimistic speakers with good results to show for it. For example, bring together a weekly panel of people who made a ton of money during the 2008 financial crisis. People just need to see that becoming rich in a recession is possible.
4. Publicly call out people who give substantially
In the book of Acts 4:36, a man named Joses made a large giving to the early church. They didn’t cover it up. They made it public. If the church is truly one family, there are things they should freely share.
Call out people who give substantially, how much they gave, and how they got the money. This practice is very powerful. It inspires other people. Although it might make some people want to do the wrong thing like those in Acts 5. But that is not a reason to stop the act.
The important thing here is not just to call the people out and the amount they gave. There must also be a clear explanation of how they got the money. That last part is the real inspiration that turns people on.
This act is very needed during tough economic times.
5. Create a giving pledge
People are scared to give because they are afraid of the future. The problem with being afraid of the future is that it makes you keep what you have even though you know that you will soon run out. It doesn’t make people go out to reach more.
People think what they have is enough for them to get by. This is why they don’t give. The moment they realize that what they have is not enough, they spring into action. One way to make people give is to make them realize that what they think they have that is enough for them and their family is really not enough.
When you find people who start giving when they realize they don’t have enough, you know that is someone that will have more than enough very soon. You need to give the members the sense that what they think they have that they can manage is not enough.
One of the ways to do this is to bring the needs of the community into the church. Then, create a voluntary pledge. Do not enforce any pledge on anybody. In fact, forcing a pledge on people should be discouraged. But create a chart to make people see how much the community needs and how much they can contribute.
Then make people decide on how much they want to contribute. Let them pick a number and write it on a piece of paper. Then they go drop it anonymously on the altar. Nobody is going to track them, it is just something between each member and God.
When people make a commitment like this, and they see that what they have is clearly not enough, they go all out to make things happen. Combined with the other tips here, they go take that big step in the outside world and they make the money.
6. Lead by example
As the pastor of the church, you should lead by example. Stretch yourself in your giving and let the members know about it. Inspire them to give by watching you.
Do not talk about your giving as something tied to your calling. Talk about it as it truly is. You are no different from the members in the area of financial giving. If they can see that, they will be inspired to give based on your actions.
7. Have an award for the church group that give biggest
Most churches are already divided into groups. In most places, they call it cells. In other places, it is just based on working units. The important part of this is that financial contributions from each group can be getting summed up to create a kind of competition with other groups.
This is good on the group level but it must not be done on the individual level. So, each group can try to outdo each other in the area of giving. This not only makes people give cheerfully but it also makes financially buoyant people to discover those who give the least in their group and try to help them get ahead financially in the real world.
True giving comes from the heart. It is not due to force or manipulation. God loves a cheerful giver. But for people to give, they have to get rid of fear and have the money to give.
When people make big gains in their business or profession and they are confident that they will keep making money in increasing quantities, they find it very easy to give if their heart is truly right with God.