I have been spending a lot of time working with churches in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis. Seemingly in the middle of the night many churches have had to lunge into operating their church completely virtually. Because of this situation, many churches are trying to make sure they aren’t missing anything, especially in the area of generosity.
In consideration of COVID-19, I am currently offering free coaching to any church in order to help them ensure they are doing everything necessary to not only maintain but grow their culture of generosity during this time. Below is a list of 5 things I think you should be doing amid this crisis. Again, I would be glad to help you understand and tactically work through any of these items. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. ONLINE GIVING
Many churches who have put off setting up online giving are scrambling to do so now. We do so much online both on our computers and even on our phones, and I believe many churches will find the nudge this crisis provides to get them into this strategy will make a big difference in their giving long term. However, setting up online giving for your church is only the beginning. To do this right you really need to implement a strategy in both the launch of online giving, as well as the ongoing support of online giving. It isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. There are many good companies who provide this service, and each have their own features to offer. Let me know if you need a list of these companies and/or a review of what each one provides.
2. OFFERING MOMENTS MUST HAPPEN IN ONLINE WORSHIP
At Generis, one of our key coaching strategies is working with churches on the importance of the Offering Moment. You need to do this now more than ever. Make sure you set aside time to do an Offering Moment to help the people in your church understand through telling stories of the different ways their faithful giving and generosity is making a difference in the lives of others right now.
3. CALL YOUR PEOPLE TO EVEN GREATER GENEROSITY DURING THIS TIME
There are people in your church who are probably struggling because they have lost their job, can’t work, or any number of reasons related to this crisis. You need to express to your people, for those who have the means, now is not a time to withhold resources but to be even more generous in addition to what they normally give. Both within your church and in your community, there will be people in need like never before and everyone who can needs to be faithful in their giving so these needs can be met.
4. CONTINUAL UPDATES TO KEEP PEOPLE CONNECTED
In this COVID-19 crisis, churches have a new appreciation of how important communication is and church attenders have a new appreciation for really paying attention to that communication. Keep great communication flowing with continual updates and tell the stories they need to hear. Tell them why their giving and generosity is more important than ever. And when you do, use video and written communication simultaneously. It makes a difference when you can see someone’s face and hear their tone and voice inflections. The more connected people feel the more likely they are to give, and the opposite is true as well.
5. FIRST QUARTER GIVING/IMPACT STATEMENTS
This is another strategy we coach at Generis with our churches and we are coming to the end of the first quarter of the year. Once you’ve closed this first quarter, you need to send a Quarterly Giving/Impact Statement. This should include:
Letter from the pastor/minister thanking them for their generosity and expressing the reality of the situation we find ourselves right now
Celebrations/Stories of the victories won in the last quarter and the victories to be won in this next quarter
The quarterly, YTD giving statement