I recently became lead pastor at a great church in London, Ontario, West Park Church. It has a rich tradition, great people, is located in a fast growing area, and has a killer facility. When I arrived we faced a significant budget deficit. We erased our deficit with a special offering around Christmas. However, during the first three months of this year we fell behind again. We then intentionally addressed our declining finances by taking several intentional steps. As a result, the last six weeks our average weekly giving has increased over 33%. Here’s what we did that I believed is positively impacting our giving.
- I taught a 4-part series on generosity using the concepts in The Treasure Principle written by Randy Alcorn.
- We sold the book and encouraged the entire church to read it.
- Several of our small groups studied the series. It’s a great 4-week series in DVD format.
- We held what we called a “Tithe Demonstration Day” where we encouraged everyone in the church to tithe off one week’s salary. Here’s the bulletin insert we used: Tithe Day Insert 2014.
- I moved the offering to the end of the service. I also added a short comment about giving at that time and I often will put a face on giving by showing a picture of some ministry and tying the church’s giving to that tangible ministry. This move also made the offering time less of an afterthought.
- We added a challenge after the tithe demo day called the “90 Day Challenge” where I challenged everyone to take another step toward giving during the next 90 days. I even promised that if someone took the next step in that challenge and after 90 days felt it wasn’t worth it, I’d take them out to a steak dinner. Here’s the insert we used: 90 Day Giving Challenge.
I realize that six weeks doesn’t guarantee a permanent trend, but I sense that God is doing a work in our church in the area of generosity.
What has helped your church become more generous?