6 ways to cultivate a culture of giving
A few weeks ago, RSI President Joel Mikell had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of pastors at the Texas Ministry Conference about the “top 10 stewardship difference makers” when it comes to cultivating a culture of giving in your church. As a follow up from the conference, the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church shared a recap of the steps you can take when it comes to making a difference in your church’s annual giving.
Today, we wanted to highlight the six ways to cultivate a culture of giving from their recap of Joel’s presentation with a few additional thoughts:
1. To change a culture, you must change the language. The easiest thing for a church to do to help change their stewardship culture is to change the way they talk about it. Words like “budget” don’t inspire your members to give. By changing the way you phrase things from something as simple as “giving to the church” to “giving through the church to accomplish more ministry,” you’ll instantly start to see a difference in the response rate of your givers. Once you’ve gotten the basics down, here are five more words you will want to start using.
2. Resources follow relationships. Connecting the resources people give the tangible impact it had in the life of someone else is an invaluable difference-maker in your church’s giving culture. If you want to begin cultivating a culture of giving by communicating impact, here are three steps you need to take.
3. Seek 100 percent participation. Everyone can give something. By encouraging everyone to get involved at some level, you create a special opportunity for everyone in your church to help make a difference. Not only is that making it special for your church members, it also gives you the opportunity to thank first-time givers in a special way.
4. Be transparent. This is an essential element for cultivating a culture of generosity in today’s society. More and more, churches have to be very open about how they’re allocating their budget, especially with those of the younger generations.
5. Give members many “on ramps” for giving. One method of giving doesn’t work for your entire church. While most churches have relied on passing the plate for the past 50 years, today, it’s just one of five giving methods you should offer to help people give.
6. Provide ongoing stewardship education. While most pastors cringe at the thought of teaching about Biblical stewardship, offering online stewardship education is a great opportunity to help your church members consider giving when they’re ready. The pulpit offers a platform to inspire giving, and small groups offer the forum to reinforce and teach the Biblical view of finances – a topic addressed in the Bible more than heaven and hell combined.
If you want more details on how these six difference-makers can impact your church’s annual giving, you can read their entire recap here. You can also download these two proven resources for changing your church’s stewardship culture.
Of these six ideas, which has been the most beneficial in helping your church cultivate a culture of giving?