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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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
— Debra
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
— Laurie
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)

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