There’s an under-planned moment in most church services.
It’s not the sermon – that’s usually the focus of hours of prayer, preparation, and study.
It’s not the worship music – that’s usually rehearsed and run through at least one time before it happens.
It’s not even the announcements, though I confess these can tend to ramble and could use a little more editing and a lot more focus.
No….I’m talking about a neglected portion of the service…the explanation of the offering.
Sometimes it’s called a giving talk. Sometimes, it’s an offering moment.
It’s the minute just before the plates are passed.
And more often than not, it’s a poorly planned afterthought that could have been so much more.
This 60-seconds of fluff could be redeemed and repurposed into a moment that causes people to lean in rather than lead them to wonder what was coming next.
Here are five ways to make it better.
#1 – Plan it.
If you want this moment to be memorable, plan what you’re going to say.
Don’t leave it up to the worship pastor to mumble through a prayer or figure out what to say on the spot. Don’t ask a deacon to say something no one else in the room can hear.
Instead, just think about what someone will say in advance.
Plan it out and write it down.
- Who is going to say it?
- What are they going to say?
You could use a spreadsheet to keep track of sermon titles, announcements and the giving emphasis. We have a template for this in our Church Resource Library.
With just a little focus, this 60 seconds in your service can go from meaningless to meaningful.
#2 – Practice it.
Once you’ve planned out how you are going to emphasize the offering, practice it.
You can ask other staff members, key leaders, and volunteers to provide leadership to this moment, but you’ll want them to run through it at least once. Even those who are gifted public speakers would benefit from a little practice.
This moment is too important to rush through.
And it shouldn't require you, or the speaker, having to glance down at their notes either. Make it short and personal.
#3 – Say thanks.
If you receive an offering in your church service, there will be a lot of people who don’t participate. A lot of those people aren’t sitting out because they don’t care…they are sitting out because they already gave online.
From time to time, make sure you acknowledge those who gave online and thank those who give automatically. This is a great way to remind people these tools exist. At least once a month, make this a part of your offering moment.
While you certainly want to use this moment to ask people to give, be sure you do so with a spirit of thankfulness, thanking those who support the mission and ministry of the church on a regular basis.
#4 – Tell stories.
Sometimes, your offering moment can be sharing a scripture verse about giving or generosity. Other times, you might share an interesting fact or figure.
But keep this in mind…
Stats may inform, but stories will inspire.
The #1 way to make a moment meaningful is to tell a story.
Tell people a story about how their donations were used to make a difference. Share a story from a partner church, missionary, or special event. Even if it doesn’t have a Hollywood-style ending, tell those stories.
#5 – Be clear.
With just 60 seconds or so to convey meaning, you don’t have a lot of time for fluff. Clarity really does matter.
So during your offering moment, don’t just make people aware theirs is an opportunity to give. Actually ask them to participate.
Awareness can be the enemy of action. You don’t just want people to know they can give…you want them to actually give.
So don’t be afraid to ask.
The time of giving isn’t a necessary evil in your church. It’s the moment that makes so many other moments happen. Steward this moment well.
Take a Next Step
If you want to work on your connection process, check out The Systems Course. It’s full of insanely practical coaching as well as ready-to-use documents and templates. We’ll guide you through how to implement or improve key systems like…
- Developing Leaders
- Follow Up
The course and all of the resources will help you get your entire church organized. And one enrollment is good for every leader (staff or volunteers) in your church. Enroll and go through it with as many people as you like.