Our giving at church is up this year. Way up. I have not checked the percentage of increase because I am a little afraid that I might jinx things, and I am not going to check either. Just leave well enough alone is my motto.
The increase has taken us pleasantly by surprise. We intentionally did a few things in the final quarter of 2016, and it looks like our actions bore fruit. We did the following.
- Conducted a month long series on giving in October.
- Sent out contribution letters sooner than usual.
- Publicly stressed the importance of giving and all the good things we do as a church.
- Talked about the ease of online giving on more than one occasion.
- Called several loyal church members and thanked them for their generosity.
In the sermons we shared a sobering statistic about how many members do not give. This one statement caused quite the buzz in the hallways. Other than that, however, we stayed positive in the preaching.
Perhaps it was a package deal--all of the steps helped out. But I suspect it was the phone calls. Our 15 elders made five or so calls each. They thanked people for their generosity and let them know we as a church could not make up our budget deficit without their help. The calls were short, sincere, and to the point.
Apparently they worked.
People like being needed.
People enjoy being thanked.