As we continue our series on ideas to help increase giving in your congregation, consider these steps: Teach what the Bible teaches – It is clear God expects believers to give cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7), regularly (1 Cor. 16:2), and sacrificially (Mark 12:41-44). If we don’t teach this mandate intentionally and passionately, we should not be surprised when our congregations don’t give. Fear of teaching about financial stewardship results only in a greater need to teach about it later. Model sacrificial giving – As a leader, consider giving more – not less – to the work of God any time you worry about finances. Financial worry is sometimes an indicator that either (a) we aren’t spending and saving wisely, or (b) we aren’t trusting God like we should. Our philosophy should be that we give to God’s work until it hurts – that is, until it stretches our faith. Only then should we be comfortable challenging others to give more. Passionately and clearly cast a God-sized vision for your congregation – God’s people are not opposed to giving; they are opposed to supporting a weak or unclear purpose. Churches that seek dollars simply to keep their doors open to minister to their own people aren’t likely to garner support from a young generation committed to the nations. Ask your congregation to state your church’s vision in a single sentence; if most can’t do it, I suspect you’re missing out on financial support as well. Teach budgeting and spending – not just giving – Many individuals operate without a budget. For some, debilitating debt is already keeping them from the mission field. Others live from week-to-week, yet pay too little attention to their spending habits. God’s people will give more to His work if we help them first learn to budget and spend well. Train children and students to give – Consistent giving is usually learned from an early age. “Give God the first part, and trust Him with the rest.” What begins as a step of obedience, and at times was a step of faith, has now become an act of worship. Promote incremental increases – Sometimes, the concept of giving a certain percentage is frightening to folks who have given only minimally. Challenge them to increase their giving incrementally. Each increased percentage may still be a step of faith. Even an extra $5.00 per family per week can strengthen your church’s work. Tell the stories of changed lives – If you want your church to give more, show them what God is doing through the church. Plan testimonies in the services. Invite missionaries to speak. Highlight a different church ministry each month. Ask staff members to send regular emails, putting the spotlight on transformed lives. Ministries themselves seldom attract more dollars, but changed people do. Lead your church to drip with financial integrity – Review your church’s process for receiving and distributing funds. Who counts and deposits the funds? How are the records handled? How are expenditures approved? How many people sign checks? Are the books audited annually? The work we do is God’s work, and anything less than absolute integrity will lack His blessing. Challenge the church with a “Day of Sacrificial Giving.” – Invite your church members to give one week more than they’ve ever given. For some that might mean increasing their giving for one week to the breaking point – to a point of faithful discomfort. Some will develop a pattern of increased giving from this one challenge. Guide your church to pray as Jesus taught us, “Give us this day our daily bread.” – This simple and direct prayer recognizes that all we have is a blessing from God. Perhaps if we prayed this way each day, we would remember that nothing we have is really ours – and consequently be willing to give back to God more that is His already. Source: Lifeway Resources Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!