In this post I want to talk to you about how to preach a series on giving. Before I do that I want to share with you key statistics about preaching on money from George Barna’s book “How to Increase Giving in Your Church.” He found that churches in which pastors preach…
- Single messages about giving raise more money than do churches in which no stewardship takes place.
- Two or more nonconsecutive messages do not have any advantage over churches that only preach on stewardship once a year.
- Two or more consecutive messages about stewardship raise more money than do those churches that only hear one message a year.
- Churches in which pastors preach two or more consecutive messages about stewardship matters raise significantly more money than churches that hear two or more nonconsecutive stewardship messages.
- A series on giving is nearly two and a half times more likely to experience an increase in giving than preachers who only talk about stewardship once a year or on two non consecutive times in a year.
If you want to be fully funded in 2014 you MUST preach on giving! Before you turn to Malachi 3:10 and dust off that old tithing sermon can I get you to stop and think about how to position your series better? A few years ago I wrote a book entitled, “The Top Ten Stewardship Mistakes Churches Make.” One of the chapters was entitled, “Failing to Ask,” and focused upon how little churches preach on money. The next chapter after that was entitled, “Asking to Fail,” and it focused on how most preaching on giving is guilt driven. Guilt never produces a cheerful giver! Guilt never works!
Dr. Ronnie Floyd of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas illustrates how to preach a series on giving with, “Chained: Breaking Free Financially.” The picture at the top of this post is from an email that he recently sent out to his members. In talking with Dr. Floyd, a client of mine, I know the series will focus upon…
- Gaining Perspective
- Creating Financial Margin
- Eliminating Debt
- Investing in the Now
- Planning for the Future
I love the title and the various subjects that will be discussed. It is a series about giving that is not a series about giving! In addition to the series members are encouraged to participant in small group studies of Dave Ramsey’s material. Thus the series will extend beyond the platform.
What should your approach be on stewardship preaching? Here are some key thoughts…
- Don’t run your people through the guilt gauntlet! Guilt never works!
- Get them to focus on their priorities. Dr. Floyd’s starting message, Gaining Perspective, will probe this. I do think it is instructive to show them that the real reason many members do not give is that they have misplaced priorities to begin with. How else can you explain the fact that we spend so much money on getting our pets manicured and pampered?
- Teach total stewardship. You have to have a long term plan to teach total stewardship. If you never teach stewardship do not be surprised during tough economic times when your offerings go down. Teaching stewardship is not going to drive people away if you do it correctly. In addition you need to supplement your stewardship preaching with practical programs that can help such as Crown Ministries or Financial Peace.
- Dedicate a whole series to stewardship. The Barna statistics listed above should be proof enough for you to embark upon a stewardship series.
- Give them a reason to give. If you show your members why giving will benefit them you will see them give more. Here are a couple of thoughts to that end.
- God’s blessing – Jesus said, “Give and it shall be given unto you…” Malachi says with regards to giving that God will, “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
- Making a difference through their gift – Studies have consistently shown that people give when they see the need and feel their gift will make a difference. Your task during these times must be to cast a compelling vision of your ministry. Help your members see why and how their gift matters and they just might by pass Starbucks on the way to church so that they can give when the offering is passed.
Start planning now your 2014 series on giving so that your church can fully fund all the missions and ministry initiatives God has placed in your heart!
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions