Generosity suicide. Many churches are dying financially and don’t know how to stop it.
Too often, churches simply “pray” for more money, but have no strategy for actually getting it.
Yes, prayer is extremely important. But prayer alone is a poor financial growth strategy for your church.
If giving at your church has plateaued or is in decline, chances are you are making at least some of these critical errors.
Generosity Suicide: Five Critical Mistakes That Kill Generosity.
1. Not preaching on the topic of money.
Let’s face it. Preachers dread talking about money. And few do it effectively.
But money is the gasoline that fuels the vision of your church.
Jesus preached on money and possessions more than anything, except the Kingdom of Heaven. If you were to model your preaching schedule after the ministry of Christ, you’d need to speak on the subject one out of every five sermons.
The topic of money should become a regular part of your annual preaching schedule.
Select four to eight Sundays each year and teach your congregation what the Bible has to say about giving.
Not only will it help fund the vision of your church, but it will grow the spiritual maturity of your congregation.
2. Not following up with first-time givers.
You forfeit a huge opportunity to develop generous givers when you don’t recognize first-time donors.
When someone gives for the first time, it’s not just a financial decision, it’s a spiritual decision.
Go out of your way to show appreciation when an individual takes this important first step.
At Northpark Church, all first-time givers receive a hand-written letter and a book on generosity … regardless of the amount of their gift.
“Doesn’t it take a lot of time and effort to write thoughtful, handwritten letters? And isn’t buying all those books expensive?”
The answer to both of those questions is a resounding “Yes.”
But the benefits FAR OUTWEIGH the costs.
Several years ago, a visitor to our church gave a small, first-time gift (less than $100). I followed up with a hand-written letter and a book to show appreciation.
The next Sunday, this “visitor” unexpectedly gave a $5,000 gift.
More importantly, the book radically changed the donor’s perspective on generosity.
Today, this person is a faithful (and generous) member of our church …
… all because he was shown appreciation and the Holy Spirit was given an opportunity to work.