Do you preach a passionate sermon on Biblical generosity only to watch people stay on the sidelines? Do you pass the plate and end up disappointed that most people don’t give anything? Are you tired of people not living up to their God given potential in the area of financial generosity in your church?
In the church world, we have bought into a huge funding myth. Conference speakers talk about it, networks train it, and church leaders just believe it. Here’s the lie:
People give to vision.
I don’t know a church that doesn’t cast some sort of vision. If people gave to “vision,” every church in the world would be funded.
Just as people buy things for different reasons, people give for different reasons. The business world gets this, but the church often misses it. People who sell cars don’t sell cars based on safety alone, certainly a motivating factor for a family of five buying a mini-van. The single, 30-year-old executive shopping for a high performance sports car doesn’t care about safety. Sales people use different strategies to communicate to different types of people
As you preach and teach on the subject of money, you’ve got to engage people who are motivated by different reasons. Here are five reasons people give:
Reason #1: They See a Need
You’ve probably heard this phrase: “People don’t give to need; they give to vision.” While that’s true for some people, it’s not true for all people. Needs are one of the biggest motivators of giving. Just note that when natural disasters occur, people are motivated to give based on real needs of real people.
When you are preaching on money, be sure to clearly communicate the needs of the church and the needs of the ministry. A large number of people ARE motivated when an honest need is shared.
Reason #2: They Believe in the Vision
Let’s face it—keeping the staff employed, the mortgage current, and the light bill paid isn’t that inspiring. But being a part of a church that’s making an eternal difference is a mission that will inspire people.
When you’re teaching your people what God’s Word says about generosity and stewardship, don’t forget to connect the dots. Share the vision of the church constantly, not just one time a year, but throughout your messages. Pepper your sermons with vision, and ask people to give to support that vision.
Reason #3: They Are Taught How To Give
Many people don’t give because they don’t know how. I know this doesn’t sound true, but you are familiar with how the church works. Many people, especially those new to your church, may not fully understand how giving works. You’ve got to educate them!
A personal financial ministry can be a powerful tool to teach people how to give. I taught a personal financial class for years and people would say, “I can’t give!” After just thirty minutes of one-on-one coaching, they could be tithing or close to tithing by just cutting stuff they aren’t even using.
When you’re preaching on money, don’t just challenge your people to give 10%. Teach them how to manage the other 90%. Help people with their personal finances.
Reason #4: They Understand the Bible
We did a study of churches and found that most churches teach on money about 90 minutes a year. When you consider that the average American household consumes more than six hours of television each day, it’s no wonder people in the church don’t manage their money differently. They hear a message of fear on the news.
You must teach them what the Bible says about money. A cute series with cool graphics will not compensate for a Biblically weak perspective on finances. Teach the Bible with clarity and passion, and never apologize for being true to God’s Word.
Reason #5: They Have a Relationship with Someone
Whether it’s the pastor, another staff member, or a volunteer, relationships in the church are VERY powerful. When people are relationally connected, they are more likely to financially contribute. When people become disconnected, their wallet will leave quickly. Pastor, don’t minimize the importance of your relationship with your congregation.
Fund Your Church Now, a FREE online event on October 20 that will help your church move from break even to break through, is built around these five reasons. Some of the top leaders in North America, including Pete Wilson, Robert Morris, and Dino Rizzo will show you exactly what they have done to encourage generosity in people. Register for the free event here.