Creating Generosity Moments
“Once upon a time” — most churches in America received their offerings pretty much the same way as they had done for generations. A group of ushers would march down the center aisle with plates in hand and pass them row by row. While the practice is traditional, it also allows the congregation to collectively experience something very special – giving as a tangible act of worship.
This model worked well when the vast majority of giving was done by cash or check. However, times have changed, and giving preferences have also changed dramatically. Conservative estimates place digital/online giving participation at approximately 40% and growing rapidly. So, how do you maintain moments in your service where giving is a tangible act of worship moment when a substantial percentage of your constituents previously have set their gift to be sent automatically through a credit or debit card?
Here’s an idea – transition from this time being centered around receiving the offering, to a more encompassing generosity moment! What’s the difference? By its very design, an offering moment focuses on the tangible gifts being received at that time. We would like to suggest creating a generosity moment that celebrates the financial gifts, but also celebrates ministry impact and discipleship growth.
As part of a generosity moment you may want to include:
- A recent changed life, where your message to the church is something like — “your generosity enables our ministries to be available to meet people at their point of crisis”.
- A new ministry launched, where your share about new outreach opportunities – “Our exciting new outreach initiative could not have been started without your support”.
- New givers joining the team, you don’t want to be specific but you could share – “Last month, 30 new givers supported our ministries…thank you and welcome to the team”.
- Faithful givers staying consistent, you cannot thank your people too much – “Thank You! Your faithful consistency in giving allows us to confidently plan for the future of our church and ministries”.
The generosity moment isn’t so much about blessing the receipt of funds as it is about celebrating the ministry impact of the funds given.
At CGS we want to encourage you to get creative in developing your own generosity moments. Share your ideas with us and we’ll pass them along to others. One of our “10 Towards Generosity” video includes some ideas to get you started.