Don’t Accept the Summer Swoon!

May 31, 2011

The temperatures are rising, schools are letting out, and the vacation season begins.

At the same time, church ministry leaders are slowing down the events, tightening the spending, and preparing for the drop in giving that inevitably follows. But does it have to?

There will always be some drop in giving during the summer months, unless your church is in a town where the vacationers are headed. And let’s be honest, many of the people in your church that are taking the vacations, are the ones who are able to give the kind of money that keeps the budget above water. So how can you limit the decrease?

First, simply tell your people the situation. Too often in our churches we assume the people know what is going on inside the church. Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t. The only way to know for sure is if you tell them. Your people love your church and want to help in any way possible, but we have to let them know the situation. It can be as simple as a slide on the video screen, a note in the bulletin, or integrated to the sermon. Let them know that normally there is a dip in giving during the summer months, but to keep all the ministries going at their normal pace, we need them to continue their regular giving.

Second, if you have electronic giving, start an awareness emphasis now! Let them know that not only is this a way for them to be consistent in giving, but also helps the church with budget planning and takes away the summer dips. While pushing the online option, give those who choose that route a way to participate in worship. Create cards that they can print out, pick up in the lobby, or find in the pew to put in the plate. Now they can participate in the worship experience, not to mention that their children or others in the church will see a committed member giving.

If you don’t have eletronic giving, there are two options. One, commit to finding a vendor and offering it to your people. I don’t know of a church who has offered online giving and has not seen a rise in giving numbers. Don’t let the fees deter you. Not only will the money coming in take care of them, but allowing someone to give for the first time is a gift to that person if nothing else.

Two, if you don’t have electronic giving, let your people know how they can set up automated giving from their banks to their church. Not only can they set up recurring gifts, but it will also not cost the fees associated with other electronic forms. My wife and I give this way, and though we missed last week because of a family trip, and will be gone one week in August for business meetings, our tithe will still make it to the church office. Many people would give this way if they knew of the benefits for them and the church.

Two simple things can help your church continue to operate as normal. Let your people know of the situation, and give them as many options as possible to give.

If you need more help in choosing online vendors, crafting a message to your church, or creating a culture of generosity in general, please give me a call or e-mail and I would be more than happy to serve you.

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