Here are a few things to remember when taking up the offering.
Don’t be timid or embarrassed to ask people for money. It takes money to make ministry happen.
Teach your people to give financially to the church. You are robbing them of a tremendous blessing if you are not teaching them to give tithes and offerings. It is the job of the ministry to instruct people how to give financially to God’s work.
Be the first to give. Instruct your ushers to take the offering from the platform first. The Pastor should be the first to give and then anyone who is seated on the platform. Preachers, musicians, singers, everybody should be instructed to be an example in giving in every service. Rule number 1 – If you are on the platform, you must give in every offering. (This serves as an example to the rest of the congregation. You will be amazed at the increase in offerings when your congregation begins to notice the leadership of the church being the first to give.
Tell the ushers to slow down. Recently I visited a church where the ushers went so fast collecting the offering that people did not even have time to get their wallets out before the ushers were finished. Slow them down. People need time to dig deep.
Pass the plate. Don’t let the ushers simply walk around with the plate in hand – only putting it in front of those they feel will give. Tell them that each person in the congregation should have the plate passed to them. Let the congregation handle the plate as it passes through every row.
Worship during the giving. Don’t let the offering be the dead spot of the church service. Have the musicians play and the singers sing. The church should worship while they give.
Ask big! Don’t be afraid to ask people to give exponentially once in a while. You will be surprised to find that people will give exponentially when asked to sacrifice for a worthy cause.
Sell the idea. If you are taking an offering for a special cause or project, sell the idea. People give when they are stirred emotionally. Let them feel the need.
Tell them how much you need to take up. It’s ok to say, “We need a $5000.00 offering today.” Don’t do this in every service, but when a special need arises, it’s ok to let the congregation know how much you need to take up. You might also give them a week or two to make good on a commitment during an offering like this. Have them put in a commitment amount on a slip of paper. Give a date when it should be paid by.
Every offering is important. Don’t just take up the offering. Make it a celebration time. Give an appeal for a “good offering”. Remind people off the blessing of giving.
Give a testimony on giving now and then. Either yourself or someone else should give testimonies of how God has blessed through giving to the church. People should know that God blesses those who give to his Kingdom.
This article is a work in progress. If you would like to offer a few thoughts on giving to be added to this article, please forward them to Jim@PreachIt.org for consideration. A completed article will be issued at a later date.