Yes you can raise money on Easter! Most of our focus has been upon attracting and reaching lost people on Easter. As Dr. Phil always says, “How is that working for you?” Seriously your audience on that day is almost exclusively your church members, their families, the few members on your role who show up for Christmas and Easter and perhaps a handful of others. You are going to take up an offering so why not do it right? By setting the stage for an effective offering I believe you can and will see an increase in giving.
If we make the offering special people will give even on Easter! My belief is that people give to a cause not a budget. So what we must do is show what a gift to your church accomplishes. If the “ask” is about helping you make budget show why that is important. Focus upon what you do with the money that people give you. Budget education should not happen only when you are trying to get the year’s budget approved!
So, if your Easter offering is simply for your budget focus upon what budget giving does. Break out the specific pieces and highlight their importance. It is as simply as saying, “Do you realize that your gifts allow us to minister to dozens of children helping shape them to meet the challenges of secular world we are called to live in?” The more effective you tell that story the more people will willingly give to support your work.
The ultimate goal is to get people to give to your church so that your missions and ministry initiatives are fully funded.
So, decide now what you want to ask for and begin to build out the case for why people should give NOW to support that cause.
Do you think the Red Cross ever apologizes for asking for money? No, they never do. What they do is tell you the amazing things they are doing and ask you to support them in that work. The Church, your church, does amazing things! Our problem is we don’t tell our story.
I began a few years ago using this mantra to churches…
Get a story, work your story, tell your story and people will give to support your story!
All the church ever talks about is money! Have you ever heard that one? Actually it is not true. Most churches NEVER talk about money. What we need is to change the conversation.
How Does The Church Change The Conversation About Money? I think we need to reset the conversation and the following are some key thoughts to that end.
It’s not about money it’s about missions. The Church is in the business of bringing the Good News of Jesus to a lost and dying world. Missions starts at the parking lot of the church and goes around the world. When a crisis like the earthquake in Haiti happened The Church was the first on the scene because The Church was already there doing missions thanks to Christians who gave at their local churches. When I give to my church I am giving to missions!
It’s not about money it’s about ministry. Who visits you when you are in the hospital? It is not your Congressman! Who counsels you when you have a crisis? It is not Dr. Phil. Gifts to a church allow that church to do ministry. That ministry impacts people locally but it also impacts me. My gifts are returned to me through meaningful ministry that I can get nowhere else.
The amazing thing is that the church ministers to people whether they give or not. I can’t get in my health club without paying my dues but no one at the church shuts the doors to people who haven’t paid their dues. When I give to my church I am giving to ministry.
It’s not about money it’s about obedience. Who is it that complains most about churches talking about giving? Lost and carnal people complain. People who lack obedience to the call of Jesus complain about giving. True Christian disciples understand that giving is a part of being a believer. It is an obedience issue. When I give to my church I am being obedient to the call of Jesus.
The Red Cross never apologizes for asking for donations. Yet I have heard countless sermons on giving begin with the minister apologizing for talking on the topic. If we truly believe that what we are doing is God’s work then why would we hesitate to ask Christians to generously support it? Let’s stop apologizing for asking for money to fuel missions and ministry. It is high time we set the conversation about giving in a new light and context. This Easter make giving about missions and ministry and see what a difference it will make.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions