One of the financial systems we recommend churches implement is a High-Capacity Giver system. In this system, we recommend the senior pastor to personally connect with their top givers in order to add value to their lives.Â One church we work with sent out the following invite to spend time with the senior pastor and his wife and it is a great example:
Hi John & Jane!
Just so you know right off the bat – this is not an â€œall churchâ€ email.Â In fact, Iâ€™m sending this to you and only 14 other people.Â And hereâ€™s why….
God is using you and your family in some pretty significant ways to support His work at The Church.
Let me be more specific… Out of a couple hundred people who give consistently to The Church, there are about 15 people/families who God is significantly using to help provide a solid financial backbone for our church community.
You are one of those 15.
And of course, while everyoneâ€™s giving makes a difference, God always seems to bring along a handful or two of those He uses to exponentially support and further His work in the local church.Â And for us at The Church, you are one of those who God is using to just that.
So with that said, Sue and I would like to share our appreciation and gratitude with you and your spouse (along with the 14 others receiving this email) by inviting you to our home on Thursday, February 4th at 6:30pm.
This is going to be a casual, laid-back evening.Â There is no agenda outside of sharing some good food, great conversation, and having the opportunity to personally thank you for your support of The Church.Â Sue and I would love for you and your spouse to join us if at all possible!
If you can make it, please RSVP no later than Friday, January 29th.Â You can either reply directly back to me at this email or by calling my assistant at 555-555-5555, ext. 22. Â We will email you directions to our home once we hear back from you.
THANK YOU for all youâ€™ve done and are continuing to do to support Godâ€™s work through The Church.Â We appreciate your support and generosity more than you will ever know.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.Â Hope to see you on the 4th!
Sal & Sue
Church Planters are told at conferences that people “don’t give to need; they give to vision”.Â So the church planter goes back to their church and tries to preach passionately about the vision of their church. Â I commend the effort and it will work in many cases. Â I, personally, see that SOME people give to vision, but others are driven by need.
If the pastor stands up and casts a huge 10 year vision that is fuzzy, but exciting, I am more likely to give.
If the pastor stands up and paints the picture of why our children’s hallway needs to be redecorated and we need $10,000, my wife is more likely to give.
I give to vision; she gives to need.
Please don’t think people only give to vision! Â Short-term needs are a legitimate way to move people to give.Â You have to make sure your message reaches the different kind of people and what they will respond to.
Do you agree or disagree? Â What have you seen work?
Jud Wilhite’s church has 17,000 people attending each weekend. Â After spending a few hours, I understand why. Â He is one of the most balanced and positive leaders I have been around in a while. Â Here is THE TOP thing I learned from him today:
1. Â ”The summit is a state of mind.”
He was talking about how we are always wanting more as leaders. Â If we don’t deal with that issue now it will get nothing but worse. Â He talks about how the “summit” or the hill we are trying to climb will always be there. Â ”The summit is a state of mind” statement blew my mind. Â How does this apply to money and what we teach at this blog? If your not happy with where you are now, you will not be happy with more. Â Wow, I need go back to counseling.
What about you as a pastor or leader? Â Do you struggle with the pursuit of wanting more growth or is it just me?
People make fund raising harder than it has to be. Â One of the best fundraisers I know is Jeff Murphy. Jeff launched My Church in Columbus, GA last year with over 600 people at launch. Â He is a great leader and launcher. Â I believe Jeff’s top three spiritual gifts are Generosity, Discernment and Leadership. Â These gifts lend themselves to great ability in this area.
Three Reasons Why Jeff Is Good At Raising Money:
1. Â He and his family ARE generous
This is THE MOST important characteristic of a great fundraiser. Â People can sniff out people that are asking, but not in the game with them. Â Jeff has given more stuff away and gives to everyone around him. Â Generosity isn’t a capital campaign commitment; it’s a lifestyle. Â Believe me, I know tons of pastors who are generous to THEIR capital campaign, but NOT generous people with their lives.
2. Â He can read people well
His discernment knows when to push and when not to push. Â Jeff reads body language and non-verbal stuff more than anyone I know. Â He knows what is being said without it being said.
3. Â He cares about the person more than the gift
Jeff isn’t friends with people because they are rich or because it’s “that time of the year” to raise money. Â He befriends all and looks out for the best in their life.
Raising money is more about who you are than what you do!
Who is the best fundraiser you know? Why are they great?
Diligence is a learnable skill that combines: creative persistence, a smart-working effort rightly planned and rightly performed in a timely, efficient, and effective manner to attain a result that is pure and of the highest quality of excellence. — Steven Scott
1. Does this definition describe your actions to increase generosity in your church?
2. Most churches HOPE their giving will go up instead of becoming diligent about a RIGHT PLAN.
3. Diligence to increase generosity can be learned. Who is coaching you to a higher level of success?
4. You must budget for increasing generosity. If you fund your plan, you will be more diligent about it.
When you apply the definition above to the area of creating generosity in your church, are you succeeding? Why or why not?
When we work with church plants we tell them to budget quarterly instead of annually.
Three reasons I would budget quarterly:
1. Change happens quickly in a church plant; be ready to change.
2. Income projections are basically a pure guess early on. The shorter the budget, the better the projecting will be.
3. Annual budgets are difficult to abide by. Create 90 day objectives and celebrate your budget wins and correct your losses.
Seven budgeting tips for church plants:
1. Overestimate your expenses
2. Underestimate your income
3. ALWAYS save something
4. ALWAYS give something
5. Make ONE person in charge of the budget being correct every month (it must be clear who is in charge of it!)
6. Don’t have a Miscellaneous category in your budget (it’s a black hole)
7. Make your budget SIMPLE
8. Quit whining that it is too hard and work on it
Let The Change Group do your bookkeeping so you don’t have to worry with it. Click here and we will help you.
What is your best church plant budgeting tip?
Churches must budget for an annual REVIEW by a CPA! Â We work with too many churches that don’t budget for a review and don’t see the need. Â You HAVE TO get a review each year from a CPA and a full audit about every five years.
Getting a review will provide you protection from any “funny business” that might be going on in your church. Â If you are against having a review done, there is probably a reason why. Â Every church each year must get a review! This is just sound financial practice for a church.
We are now partnered with an OUTSIDE firm that can do your review this year. Â Fill out this form and we will get in touch with you about your annual review.
Do you budget for this item? Â Has your church had a review for 2009? Â Let me know!
Just about every church service I attend has an “offering time”. Â Usually one of the ministry team members stands up and says the same thing every week. Â The creative team usually focuses little energy on how to make this a high-impact moment in their worship service.Â I want to change this! Â Church leaders, we have got to create vision, passion, fun, and creativity around our “offering times.”
I suggest a name change. Â I suggest we start calling these times “MISSION MOMENTS”. Â Each week you have an opportunity to help your church accomplish its mission. Â Andy Stanley says, “You have to connect the money to the ministry.”
A MISSION MOMENT could be:
1. Visionary – Share life-change stories and speak about how the money they give this week will help fund another story. Â At our home church we read emails that are sent to our ministry from people in our church about life change.Â I highly recommend getting their permission first.
Passionate - Please get the boring guy off the stage and get someone who is FIRED UP about helping people experience God through their giving.
Fun - Do a funny video about the “offering time”! Â Get people laughing and take the edge off the tension around the topic of money.
Creative – You have 52 opportunities a year; try to make each one different!
Help me out guys: What is the most creative mission moment you have ever seen in a service? Â What is the worst?
I talk with a lot of church leaders about having online giving and kiosk giving so people can give electronically (it is 2010 )
The number one push back I get from “cutting edge” leaders is, “What if people start giving themselves into debt?”
The number two push back I get is, “Is using a credit card Biblical for giving?”
So help me out… How many people do you know that have given themselves into debt? Â What are your thoughts on using a credit card to give?