As a church leader, you know how generosity is key to the Christian life. You want people to experience spiritual transformation and honor God by giving their time, talent, and treasure. But it can feel discouraging when you only have a few members who actually give and serve faithfully.
If that’s the case for you, you’re not alone. Recent church giving statistics tell us:
- 247 million US citizens identify as Christians, but only 1.5 million tithe
- Only about 5% of churchgoers tithe
- People who give are 40% less likely to owe significant debt
There are over 2,000 Bible verses on money and stewardship—which tells us something important about how God sees our finances. During his earthly ministry, Jesus consistently taught on money and the choice to serve God or yourself with each financial decision. Since the Bible teaches so much about generosity, we should, too.
A great way to get people thinking about generosity is through storytelling, starting with your own. Sharing your story helps others relate to you—and it helps build trust because they know generosity is part of your life.
Share other people’s giving stories, too. It’s not unusual for people to struggle with the idea of generosity. But when they step out in faith and trust God with their finances, he begins transforming their lives in new ways. Sharing these stories can help encourage other people to take the step to give.
You can also share stories about how your church was able to help others because of generosity: helping a family in need, providing scholarships for church camp, etc. People connect with stories, so any chance you have to share one, go for it!
Incorporate online giving
For years, church members gave through cash or check during Sunday morning services. But these days most people prefer to give using their mobile devices or online. Since 2018, mobile giving donations have increased by 205%. Online giving provides people the opportunity to give any time throughout the week or to schedule recurring gifts.
Make it about more than money
Biblical generosity is about more than finances. Believers are called to live with open hands, giving freely to those in need (Prov 11:24–25). This runs counter to our “me-centered” society. And yet, where better than the one’s church to learn how to serve and give to others?
A great first step is to provide ways for people to serve others in church. Volunteer opportunities in churches are crucial because they move people from consumers to contributors. When people give their time, their church experience is no longer all about them. It’s about the spiritual development of others and the church’s mission.
Another way to create a culture of generosity is by partnering with a local mission. Is there a local food bank that needs volunteers? You can encourage small groups to serve together once a month to help out. You could also partner with a local foster care facility, homeless shelter, or an after-school reading program.
Serving others is contagious because we were created to live in community. When people “catch” the heart of serving, they start to invite others to take part and it becomes part of your church’s DNA.
The same is true for giving financially. Once people experience the joy that comes with trusting God with their finances, they will naturally want others to experience the same thing.
While a culture of generosity won’t happen overnight, it’s possible—and it’s worth the effort.