The Offering Is Not Dead; It’s Different Series
This is the second in a series of posts, all directed to help you improve your offering time!
Label up, eye on the ball. That is the advice that every Little Leaguer gets to start their career in baseball. It’s the basics of batting. From that base, a coach works to develop other skills. Yet if you don’t get label up, eye on the ball, you will never get off the bench.
This is a label up, eye on the ball post about the offering. For me, when it comes to helping churches meet their budget expectations, the first step is having a proper view of the offering. I teach my clients what I call, “The Anatomy of the Offering.”
Let’s face it. Most offering times in the typical church are dry and boring interruptions to the worship service. We treat it like it is in the way of more important stuff. It’s like we are embarrassed to have to do this, but. As a result, our offerings are anything but great. Is it any wonder that giving is in decline?
If you can’t get the offering right, you will always struggle financially. A great way to revolutionize your offerings is by understanding the anatomy of a great offering. That understanding starts with,
The Heart of the Offering – The most important part of any offering is what I call its heart. The heart of the offering is the story of the offering. I have always taught that every “ask” must have a driver. The driver is the story of your vision. A worshipful well-planned offering with heart will touch the heart of the attendee.
When you ask with heart, people will give! That’s why it’s the most important part of the offering. Yet just like your human heart, the heart of the offering won’t survive alone. So, I teach that we also need to understand,
The Head of the Offering – An offering motivated by the heart will help you gain a first-time gift. To develop long term donors, we must connect both heart and head. This is the task of discipleship, and your offering times can become a time of teaching biblical stewardship. How can we do that? Here are a few pointers,
- Tell them why with Scripture – From time to time, it is essential to tell them why giving is so important to a Christian. I think you can effectively use the offering time to teach the value of the offering by sharing what the Bible says about giving, generosity, and offerings. What better tool than the Bible? Remember this,
- Always be positive! Using Scripture doesn’t mean bashing people over the head with the pulpit Bible. Guilt never moves the heart toward generosity.
- 20% to 30% of your offering appeals should be about connecting the head by teaching what Scripture has to say on the subject.
The anatomy of a great offering starts with the heart, continues to the head and then must move to,
The Hand of the Offering – When I talk about the hand of the offering, I am talking about making “the ask.” Here is where most offerings go awry. Let’s talk about how to use your hands properly, your “ask,” in the offering.
Don’t apologize for taking up an offering! By apologies, I mean, don’t ever say, “As we take up our offering this week, if you are a guest, please don’t feel like you have to give. This time is for our members.”
People will figure out they don’t have to give. My goal is to make them want to give. Telling them that they don’t have to give is like putting your hand up as a stop sign. STOP THAT!
You want your hands open and extended, inviting them to worship through giving. To accomplish this, I use what I call,
The 2 Sentence Out. Here is how that breaks out; you have been telling a story that touches the heart, but now you are at the end of the story. What now? I want to extend an invitation to all to give generously. I do that in two sentences like this,
“Every time you give here, you help support stories and lives (just like what you shared). This morning we encourage you to join us in worship as we give of our tithes and offerings.”
Extending the hand and making the “ask” is the key to gaining a response. Then end with what I call,
The Feet of the Offering – It answers the question, “How can I give?” We must show them how easy it is to give at your church by mentioning the various ways to give. The offering plate, text, app, online, etc. End by saying something like,
“Remember, we have multiple easy ways you can give here. The bulletin gives you that information. Let’s pray…”
Do I do that every offering talk? That depends upon the setting of each client. I advise clients to have this information in bulletins, pew, or chair racks as well as announcement screenshots.
That’s the anatomy of an offering talk or moment. If you follow those concepts every time you take up the offering, you will see results.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach