Giving When the Church Can’t Gather
There are at least five ways for people to be regular, sacrificial, and cheerful givers to your church, no matter what.
- Give at a Sunday Worship Gathering. Placing an offering in the plate, basket, bag, or box is the most traditional way believers have given for generations.
- Give Online. By connecting with a few outside partners, online giving can be done safely and easily today.
- Text to Give. By connecting with a few outside partners, members can text in a gift to your church.
- Give through a Bank’s Online Bill Pay System. Many people are paying bills online. If they have your church’s mailing address, they could include their regular giving through their banks bill pay service.
- Give by Mail. With a mailing address, giving can still be received through “snail mail.” You could even provide a stack of pre-addressed and already stamped envelopes to make it easy.
Notice, only one of these paths to giving requires the church to be gathered. So, when crisis or disaster strikes, limiting the gathering capacity of your church, YOU CAN be ready by offering pathways for continued generosity.
Getting Started with Online Giving
To get started with online giving, you will need to set up an account with one of many online giving platforms. It’s possible that your church already has an account with one of these. If you have a Church Management System, like PlanningCenter.com, FellowshipOne.com, Shelbysystems.com, ACStechnologies.com, or others, you simply need to add the capability. There are also church partners like Tithe.ly, EasyTithe.com, and PushPay.com, that focus on helping churches with online giving. Lifeway also offers a service called Generosity – https://lifewaygenerosity.com/ – that provides opportunities for online and text to give for churches. Paypal.com also is often used by churches for online giving and other transactions. These services will have small transaction fees and possibly monthly membership charges. However, churches that utilize these, usually see a 25%-40% increase in giving, making the fee and charges worth the cost.
Communicate the Pathways to Giving
The church that my family attends communicates the Five Ways to Give regularly. Here is a letter sent out with contribution statements each quarter. There are also flyers placed in foyer areas. Five Ways to Give can be a convenient provision for people during busy seasons, but a lifeline during crisis or disaster when the church can’t gather.