Offering moments in a worship service can be one of the most awkward moments of a worship service. Unless you’re a gifted communicator who has a knack of asking people to give, the moment can feel rushed or sometimes routine to the point where it has little impact on the person sitting in the room.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Often the disconnect that happens during these offering moments is driven by a lack of clarity of what someone in the pew is actually giving to. It’s not that people don’t want to give, it’s that they don’t have a clear understanding of where the money is going and how the church will spend it.
This confusion can be cleared up by remembering three key things when you’re communicating about money to your congregation. Here they are:
Use Specific Examples
If you’ve done any research on millennials, you know that they are a “cause” oriented generation. This means that they will naturally be drawn to giving to causes over giving to an institution like the church. So how do you combat that? You use specific examples.
Specific examples allow those who give to paint a mental picture of where the money is being spent and give a sense of transparency for how the money is being spent. For example instead of saying “When you give you help fund our missions efforts,” you would say “When you give, you help fund our missionary families located in South Africa.” Yes, it’s a small subtle difference, but by providing examples, you provide clarity for your audience.
Provide Physical Context
You often hear pastors using phrasing like “expanding the Kingdom” or “in the reach of our ministry” when talking about giving. While those statements are true, they pose two problems. First, that language requires a certain understanding of ministry jargon. Second, that language can be seen as vague and abstract.
While the first problem can be solved with teaching, the second problem is solved by giving physical examples of what it looks like. So if “expanding the Kingdom” really means building a new educational wing, then lead with that physical example. Don’t cloud your offertory moments with language that will leave your audience with more questions.
Provide Spiritual Context
Finally, while specific examples can help provide clarity to your audience, providing a spiritual context to their giving can help solidify your communications about money. By “spiritual context,” we’re referring to the impact that those dollars can have for the kingdom.
Using the previous example, you say something like “Did you know that last year, over 40 people came to know Christ through our mission partners in South Sudan?” By providing a spiritual context to the giving you add even more impact to your giving request.
Once you establish a spiritual context you can more easily move from a position of telling people what they are “giving to” and move them into a conversation about what they are “giving from.”
Talking about money in a worship service is not an easy task, but if you have a clear understanding of what you are asking people to give to, the more likely they are to find ways to give from, which will turn them into more regular givers.
This article was written by Darrel Girardier and originally published at churchanswers.com on September 17. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.