Many pastors steer clear of teaching on giving as they don’t want the churches they serve to appear to be all about money. The Bible has much to say about our stewardship, however, and to ignore this teaching would be to ignore a large portion of what scripture has to say. So how does a church teach on money without turning people off? Here is how my church addresses this topic of giving:
Yearly Tithing Message – Every January we do a “Month of Personal Commitment.” We preach and teach on a commitment to prayer, reading the Bible, ministry service, and giving. This annual message on tithing is an opportunity for the whole church to hear about the importance of honoring God with their finances. This one message is enough to teach and remind people about the importance of giving, but not enough overwhelm them or turn them off.
Other Messages About Giving – The only other messages that we preach on giving, in addition to the tithing message, is on missionary faith promises once a year (which none of that money goes to the church, instead it goes to meet needs around the world), and on our future development Sunday when we talk about where we are going as a church and receive future development pledges. This future development message though is more about vision than it is about finances.
Quarterly Giving Statements – Every quarter we send people a copy of their giving statement. This gives them a physical reminder of how obedient, or not, they have been to honor God with their giving.
Weekly Verse & Missionary – Nearly every week before the offering is received we read a verse from the Bible that deals with the importance of our giving (you can download our Suggested Scriptures for Tithe & Offering here ). This reminds people weekly that giving is a biblical concept. We also highlight a different missionary we support every week. This reminds people that the money they give isn’t going to pad someone’s wallet, but rather is going to meet needs around the world.
Starting Point – We have a four-week introductory class to Calvary called Starting Point. In this class, we cover the biblical reasons for tithing, how tithing is required for membership, how finances are handled at the church, and more.
Financial Peace University – We offer Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University often. This course teaches people how to get out of debt, manage their money, spend and save wisely, give generously and more.
Membership Interview – When people come in for their membership interview we ask them a lot of different questions including how long they have been attending the church regularly, whether they agree with our doctrine, where they are serving in ministry, and about their giving. At their interview, we show them their recent giving history and ask them to verify that it represents a tithe. If someone is not tithing then they cannot be a voting member.
Publications – We have two publications we hand out regularly that talk about giving. The first is a simple “How to Give at Calvary” handout (which you can download the front here and back here). This is a small placard we hand out once or twice a year that talks about the different ways that people can submit their contributions. We also hand out “Managing God’s Resources” which is a small pamphlet that we give out on the Sunday of the annual tithing message and have it available in our foyer throughout the year. This pamphlet can be purchased by going online to Gospel Publishing House.
Offering Envelopes – We have offering envelopes available in the pews every Sunday, and also hand them out in December to everyone that would like a box of envelopes for the following year. If you would like to see what our offering envelopes look like you can do that here.
End of Year Giving – The final thing we do is send out a reminder at the end of the year reminding people about end of the year giving, money market transfers and to pick up their offering envelopes mentioned above. If you would like to read about the note our accountant puts in the church bulletin you can download that here.
This is what my church does to address the issues of tithing and giving in our church, but I am sure these are not the only ways. What ways have you seen churches address this important topic?