By Todd McMichen
As the church is forging new digital ministries every day, there are still some new twists from old school thinking regarding the offering.
I do believe the number one step right now for the vast majority of churches is to unleash digital giving like never before.
However, some people will simply not be able to make the transition. They desire to be generous but need other ways.
Here are five offering opportunities that can unleash giving today.
1. Send a letter.
Letters are old school, but as of the time of this writing mail is still moving. Not only that, but the junk mail volume is non-existent at my house.
Receiving a personal letter from the pastor on how to give during COVID-19 would be well received.
Be pastoral and caring. Cast vision for outward facing ministry into the community. Do not speak of need or desperation.
Help people see what their generosity is doing right now through your church. Then list just a few simple giving options while providing a confidential phone number for a person to ask questions of someone in your finance office.
2. Make a phone call.
People who prefer more traditional methods have far more confidence in speaking with a financial professional over the phone than they trust the internet.
It doesn’t matter how easy and convenient digital giving is, they aren’t going to do it. They are more accustomed to showing up at the church finance office or bank and talking to someone personally about their financial needs.
While everyone is locked in, create a phone-calling ministry to care for people and provide offering help.
Churches can assist people with setting up a digital offering or a draft with their bank. There will be people in your congregation who trust a voice over the phone.
3. Set up an account at a Christian foundation.
Foundations are one of the most underutilized tools by local churches. They can help your generosity ministry in so many ways.
Right now Christian foundations are setting up interest-bearing giving accounts for churches. Then they will receive phone calls and assist your members with setting up donations.
A foundation is like a big generosity bank. They’re a well-trusted service especially if they carry the name of your particular denomination.
4. Create a drive-thru offering.
Restaurants are shutting down to in room dining, but they are not closing for business altogether. Takeout and delivery food services are still bustling.
While being quarantined people are looking for safe trips to take just to get out of the house.
Set up a fun and secure drive thru offering experience. Reward a person for driving thru and provide a special gift. This could be a fun in home family devotion kit or a prayer guide.
5. Implement a pastoral care pick up ministry.
Put your deacons and small group leaders to work. Establish a day and time when a pick-up service will occur.
A person can leave an offering, prayer request, and encouraging testimony to be shared. In exchange the church will deliver a thoughtful gift and the exchange can happen safely on the doorknob of a home.
I hope this helps. Digital platforms are now the top giving priority moving forward, but don’t forget all the old school ways that can be refined to unleash giving in your church today.
TODD MCMICHEN (@ToddMcMichen) is Director of Generosity & Digital Giving at Lifeway and author of Leading a Generous Church: Making Disciples without Chasing Money.