Nurturing New and Emerging Givers in the Church
As the year draws to a close, anticipation mounts within the church community for the upcoming year. This time brings both excitement and opportunity, especially for the influx of newcomers who will soon become part of the congregation, as well as for those recommitting to deepening their faith.
With the onset of a fresh year, several considerations come to the forefront: creating a welcoming environment for newcomers, staff alignments, and necessary adjustments. In the midst of these multifaceted aspects, a crucial dimension surfaces—the development of new contributors within the church. Additionally, existing contributors may undergo a transformative journey in their giving practices.
The question then arises: how can a church effectively nurture and cultivate these emerging givers?
The diversity in the stages of giving demands an adaptable approach rather than a one-size-fits-all strategy. Recognizing the unique phases of each giver is essential. The approach to a mature giver differs markedly from that applied to someone new to church giving.
To foster meaningful conversations, it is important to tailor the engagement to the distinct stages of givers, enabling the church to embark on a journey with each individual.
The discussion begins with exploring the driving forces behind giving. The core objective of initiating these conversations is to begin a journey of discipleship for those who are just embarking on their giving venture. To ground these discussions, it is essential to highlight the biblical foundation of giving—our response to God’s immense love.
Deuteronomy 14:23 encapsulates this sentiment: “…that you may learn to revere the name of the Lord your God forever.” This eternal truth underscores the purpose of giving, transcending generations and reflecting a timeless principle. Indeed, our giving is not primarily intended to finance the church’s budget; rather, the financial aspect is an inevitable outcome when we give to honor and revere the name of the Lord.
In cultivating new givers, one pivotal step is to build a bridge between the biblical call to give and the practical implications for the community.
This is an opportunity to emphasize that giving is a transformative act. It transforms the giver and also the one who is the beneficiary of the gift.
By linking the act of giving to tangible outcomes within the church and beyond, new givers can witness the direct impact of their contributions. Whether it's supporting missions, community outreach, or addressing local needs, demonstrating the real-world effects of their giving can significantly enhance a giver's sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Establishing a culture of openness and transparency is equally paramount.
Church leaders should strive to create an environment where discussions about giving are approached with authenticity and devoid of pressure. When emerging givers feel valued and respected, they are more likely to engage in conversations about their giving journey. Transparently sharing the church’s financial needs and how resources are utilized fosters a sense of trust and inclusivity, vital for encouraging continued engagement.
Personalization is also key when nurturing new givers.
Recognizing the distinct motivations, circumstances, and aspirations of individuals lays the groundwork for meaningful interactions. While some givers might be drawn by the opportunity to impact a specific aspect of the ministry, others might resonate with broader mission objectives. By tailoring conversations to these diverse motivations, the church can effectively support each giver's unique journey.
Ongoing engagement is integral to the process of nurturing givers. It is insufficient to engage with new givers only at the outset of their journey. Regular check-ins, personalized follow-ups, and opportunities for givers to share their experiences can increase their commitment and foster a deeper sense of belonging within the community. These interactions also provide avenues for addressing questions, concerns, and evolving aspirations, facilitating a continuous dialogue that is instrumental for spiritual growth.
Technology can also play a significant role in nurturing emerging givers. In an increasingly digital world, integrating convenient and secure online giving platforms can empower individuals to contribute effortlessly and consistently. Mobile apps, text-to-give options, and online portals provide a seamless experience, allowing givers to manage their contributions and stay connected with the church's ongoing initiatives.
As the year unfolds, it is crucial to celebrate the milestones of givers’ journeys.
Recognizing and acknowledging the progress made by emerging givers encourages a sense of accomplishment and motivates continued involvement. Publicly celebrating those who have taken steps in their giving journey not only affirms their commitment but also inspires others to embark on their own transformative paths.
The offering or giving moment is a perfect time to do this.
“There might be some of you here today that have not started your giving journey at our church. This could be the day for you. In fact, we had 21 households who gave for the first time last month! How cool is that!!”
In conclusion, the cultivation of new and emerging givers within your church demands a nuanced and adaptable approach. Tailoring engagements to the distinct stages of givers' journeys, grounding conversations in the biblical principle of giving, connecting generosity to tangible outcomes, fostering transparency, personalizing interactions, maintaining ongoing engagement, leveraging technology, and celebrating milestones are all pivotal elements of this process.
As the new ministry year dawns, your church has an opportunity to not only welcome new faces but also to help them embark on a journey of spiritual growth, discipleship, and collective impact through nurturing emerging givers.
I hope this is helpful. As always, I welcome additional conversation if you’d like to talk. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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