<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=245909183139864&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

From Transactions to Transformation: Crafting a Meaningful Offering Moment

4 min read
Feb 8, 2024 11:00:22 AM

Each week, pastors and church leaders have an opportunity to inspire givers, teach about stewardship, and establish a culture of generosity through their offering moment, or giving moment. But at many churches, it often falls flat. 

Think about this: Does your giving moment feel like a time of worship? Most of us would probably answer, “no,” but very few of us treat it that way. Instead, it’s often treated more like a promotion for giving to the church. It can be awkward and rushed. Don’t get me wrong, nobody does this on purpose. We drift into the mindset that we shouldn't talk about money and giving in church. 

In a conversation with a wise pastor about giving moments, he said to me: “It’s not a time when you’re trying to get money out of people’s pockets. It’s a time when you’re trying to get the idols out of their hearts.” That sums up what our priorities and goals should be when it comes to the giving moment.

We should be more grieved about the spiritual condition of our givers as it relates to money and possessions than we are concerned about meeting the budget. We have to care about the condition of people’s hearts. If we put that first, we won’t have any issues meeting the budget. The issue will probably be how to spend the surplus. 

If you transform this moment, it will transform many other areas of your church as well. Pastors are often resistant to change about this moment though. They want to keep it on autoplay without putting more emphasis on it or giving it more time during the service. 

So how do we normalize the conversation about giving?


Taking the Right Approach at the Right Time

First, consider the fire hose, garden hose, and drip hose approaches. 

  • The fire hose is a sermon series about giving from the senior pastor. You turn it on hard at full blast. 
  • The garden hose involves staff members, stakeholders, and church members speaking about giving on a pretty regular basis.
  • Then there’s the slow and steady drip hose, which is the most important one of all.

Think about what the drip hose does for the yard. You don’t really notice it. It’s in the back where all the landscaping is, and it’s dripping regularly at the root ball. But what you do see are huge, beautiful, thriving azaleas. This is the offering moment. Week by week, it's a tiny drip right at the base of everything that causes amazing growth to happen. 

Once your drip hose is working well, that’s when you come in with the garden hose and eventually the fire hose for stories of impact and a big, impactful sermon series. Lead with the drip hose, then come in with the other two. 


How to Talk About Giving Every Week

The offering moment can be one of the centerpieces in developing a culture of generosity in your church. It's an opportunity to address the topic 52 times a year, at every single service. It takes focus, intention, and a plan to make a good giving moment. We can’t put it on autoplay, always doing the same thing week after week.

Make a calendar and use a combination of different tactics. With 52 Sundays a year, create a plan using the 32-16-4 approach: 

  1. On 32 Sundays, use scripture to teach mini lessons. You don’t need more than 90 seconds to talk about giving from a biblical perspective.
  2. Then 16 times a year, talk about impact through stories. These don’t have to be highly produced or lengthy. They can be spontaneous stories of impact from givers who've experienced transformational “ah-ha” moments as they’ve become more spiritually committed to what God wants them to do with their money and possessions.
  3. Lastly, 4 times a year, have someone from the board or somebody on your oversight or financing team address why people can trust the church. They should talk about where money is going, and what’s happening with it. 

Giving is a spiritual journey, and everyone in your church body is at various stages of this journey. Different approaches will work well and resonate more with each person in new ways. 

As you cycle through the year, make sure your staff is communicating among itself. Debrief each week after the service to talk about this new rhythm in the life of your church. Remember, you can self correct as needed to make improvements to what you’re doing. 

When you talk about money in church regularly, and in the right way, your people will start to understand that the giving moment is not about getting money out of their pockets. It’s about reverence, honor, faithfulness, and gratitude to God. 

Giving has the power to transform the giver, to remove those idols from our hearts, because it is not merely a transactional act. It’s an intimate act of trust and a tangible act of obedience to the Lord. That’s what we should be communicating with focus and intention as we seek to make the offering moment a critical part of church culture by normalizing the conversation about giving.

Let me know if you see this as an issue in your church and want to talk about it. Though the history of Generis is primarily attached to our work with capital campaigns, we are helping churches address their everyday giving ecosystem more and more with our Culture Of Generosity Framework (tm). If you’d like to know more, email me at jim@generis.com.

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think