This year’s Easter offering is going to be different for many churches because they are going to do what I am suggesting; Give the ENTIRE offering away!
So as the senior leader of the church or a lay leader of the church you think this is a good idea and you want to do it. What are the next steps?
Brainstorm about where you would like to see the offering go.
- What ministry would benefit from the offering the most?
- Should it be a local ministry?
- Should it be a ministry in our church?
- Should it be a nationally recognized organization?
Here’s a check list you should utilize when determining where the offering should go. Make sure:
- You choose ONE ministry. The temptation will be to spread the money around to various ministries to avoid conflict in the congregation and hurting feelings. If you are worried about conflict and hurting feelings then please do not try to do this offering. You have bigger fish to fry.
- The ministry’s mission is easy to explain and understand. The less moving parts the better.
- The ministry will affect lives of people outside the walls of your church. People visiting your church will not want to give to something that is going to benefit the people who are members of the church. (That’s the main reason they don’t want to give in the first place.)
- The ministry’s mission has broad appeal. For example; children’s ministries appeal to people from all generations as do ministries that help build fresh water wells around the globe.
- The ministry you choose lines up with your church’s vision and mission statement. Stay on point.
- The ministry is not controversial. I completely embrace the idea of getting our people out of their comfort zones. However, this is not the time or the place.
Once you have a ministry in mind (not a final decision) you have to tell the leadership about the idea. If you are the senior leader you have to get buy in from your leadership team. If you are a lay leader you have to talk to the senior leader first to get buy in and then present the idea to the leadership team. (This is going to work best if the senior leader is excited about it and is willing to promote it.)
The million dollar question (pun intended) is “How do I get the leadership team to agree to give one weeks’ offering away when we did not budget for this?” How can we operate the church on 51 weeks’ worth of offerings when we budgeted for 52 weeks?
This is the crux of this giving opportunity. This is where leaders can actually live out the words of ‘we have to have faith that God will provide.’ This is where the proverbial ‘rubber meets the road.’
As a leader you have to be able to answer the question “Why do this in the first place?” with conviction and ease. I would respond by saying:
Easter is the Sunday we have the highest attendance. We know that many who come will probably not ever come back; or at least on a regular basis. For many in the congregation on Easter Sunday we have one shot to show them who we are and why we exist. ‘We are faithful followers of Christ and our mission is to spread the Gospel and show people the love of God through our words AND actions.’ It takes money to do ministry so let’s not apologize for talking about money on Easter Sunday. In fact let’s embrace the opportunity to invite everyone on Easter Sunday to make an investment in the Kingdom through this offering. Why should we apologize for receiving money that will directly impact lives and show the recipients that people do care and God cares about them?
Back to the 52 week budget on 51 weeks’ worth of giving. Your church is like most families in the church. You have enough to do what God is calling you to do. When times get tough or our financial situation changes we make decisions that allow the money we have to be enough to do what we need to do. All of the leaders will have to be better stewards than they already are.
THE question is not can we do it, but is it worth it?
“God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible…what a pity we plan only things we can do by ourselves.” A. W. Tozer