There’s nothing more challenging than finding your way out of a financial problem in your church. But there is hope and there is way back to solvency and healthy finances if you follow a sound spiritual and fiscal plan to lead you there. Prayer An intentional prayer ministry will do more to increase your offerings than any other emphasis of the church. Vision statement According to a recent survey, churches that have a written vision statement are growing faster than churches without a vision statement. Church growth will impact offerings to your church. If members and guests believe your church will make a difference in your community and world, then they will give more to the ministry of your church. Positive atmosphere Eliminating negative promotions such as the weekly/monthly budget requirements in the church bulletin or newsletter. Even in the best giving churches, your weekly/monthly offering will not meet your weekly/monthly giving requirements at least two times a month/year. The impression is created that your church is not healthy because your church is behind on giving when, in fact, you may be ahead of yearly requirements. Your people give to make a difference rather than negative budget requirements. Ministry action budget Your church budget should be a road map to the ministry concerns of your church. Your budget should guide your church on how to spend the money God has entrusted to your church family. A church budget based on ministry, not numbers, will impact the budget positively and cause your members to be excited about what God is doing in their midst. Offering envelopes Believe it or not, the old system of a member receiving a box of offering envelopes does increase giving. The weekly provided offering envelopes remind your members to give to God’s work in your church. Missions-focused When your church is focused on missions they will have little time for in-fighting and disagreement. Your guests and members will give to your church when they see you focusing on others and making a difference in your world. Move your offerings to the end of the worship service Worship service giving normally will increase 10-20 percent if the offering is collected at the end of the worship service as opposed to the traditional collection time at the middle of the worship service. The offertory is a natural way for individuals to respond to God’s message. Receiving offerings during Bible study When individuals are accountable and loved by a small group ministry like Bible study, individuals will give more to the church. A Bible study growth campaign will increase giving in the church, too. Conduct an ongoing stewardship emphasis Biblical stewardship should be taught as part of regular ministry of your church. An annual stewardship emphasis will have insignificant lasting impact on your church members. You, as pastor or church leader, do not need to apologize for teaching the biblical perspective of Christian stewardship that God is the owner of everything. Teaching stewardship is equally important as any other teaching of the church. Enlist stewardship testimonies People can read about giving, but really not change their personal habit or practices. However, if someone they know and respect shares how God has worked in his life concerning biblical stewardship, then the hearers are more likely to practice Biblical stewardship in their lives. Testimonies during the worship services and Bible Study really do work! Practice ’empowered spending’ Your ministry leaders and church staff should be empowered to be able to spend the allocated money within a budgeted line item without the finance committee or church treasurer approval. Your finance committee/treasurer should be aware of the spending through a possible purchase order system, but the committee/treasurer’s involvement should be only to carry out your church’s wishes. Empowered spending eliminates one or two people controlling the finances of your church. Individuals are more willing to give if the person thinks he has true influence on how the money will be spent. Bless your staff financially A church that blesses its staff financially will in turn be blessed. If your pastor does not have to worry about family financial concerns, then he will be able to focus more on ministry. In turn, the church and pastor will be blessed. Model and teach an attempt to ‘out-give’ God As a pastor or church leader, you should try to out give God. Of course, this is impossible, but it works! People want to be part of a church focused on God and His ways. (Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving has great teaching on this subject.) Conduct revival services A revival of God’s people should always lead to increased offering. As people move closer to God, they will give out of their abundant blessings to the Lord’s church. Biblical financial principles taught Biblical Christian stewardship concepts and principles should be taught as an ongoing ministry of the church. Believers constantly need this spiritual instruction. Do not apologize for it. Source: Lifeway 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!