In times of disaster people are looking to live generously. Giving is a natural reaction to an obvious need. The opportunities exist all around us every day. They are especially obvious during a national crisis. We can learn of them at work, in our neighborhoods, or on the internet. When we do, we naturally respond. However, many believers would love to provide as much above and beyond giving to and through our churches as possible. Yet, it only seems to ask every three years during a capital campaign.
Pastors, I want to help you come alongside your generous people. Most church leaders think that givers are always aware of the resource need. After all, that is what the budget and building funds are for, right? However, the fact that a never ending need exists to fund the budget does not create the compulsion to give above and beyond funds its direction. Here are some keys to unlock above and beyond giving that overflows.
- Craft a clear vision for above and beyond giving dollars. Generous people want to advance the vision with extra giving. They are not as interested in simply paying a bill via the church budget need.
- Have confident answers to the important questions. Why are new funds needed? How will the vision be advanced outside of the budget? What specifically is needed? How much does it cost? When do we anticipate accomplishing it?
- Identify giving opportunities based on individual passions. When people are looking to be extra generous, they usually align this type of giving with a particular passion. That is why we gravitate towards one nonprofit cause versus another. There are five areas of passion you can look to address with an above and beyond fund. They are next generation, capital improvements, local outreach, national ministry, and global missions. Most believers would have a passion that lines up with at least one of these areas.
- Create and name your above and beyond giving fund. I would not name the fund after a national disaster like COVID-19. This is not the most visionary approach and will limit what you can do with the funds once the crisis is over. Names I often here churches use include: Vision Fund, Kingdom Builders, Legacy Fund, Hope Fund, and Impact Fund. Pick a name that speaks of advancing the kingdom beyond what budget dollars are able to accomplish. When you name the fund and include the five areas of passion you will be able to create an ongoing ministry that is a life giving generosity channel year after year.
- Gather your best givers and share the vision. Giving people want to hear what is going on from their leader. They desire to be exposed to the need, opportunity, and solution. This is why we often gather every year to hear from our favorite nonprofit at their annual gala or banquet. It is inspiring to be around other people with the same passion who are making a difference together.
- Normalize the spiritual gift of giving and shepherd it well. No pastor should ever feel like a fundraiser. However, you do have the responsibility to nurture the souls of all. People that have reached certain levels of financial success can be some of the most under-led and under-cared for people in the church. They can be intimidating or give off the vibe they have it all figured out. Truth is they need support just like everyone else. Their love language, in part, just happens to be money and giving. Be their active and confident pastor.
Everyone needs a pastor and every pastor needs key supporters. Vision absolutely advances at the speed of its resources. There are people in every church ready to fund vision. However, the opportunities to become easily engaged are rare at church. Let’s help these generous givers out. Craft a vision that inspires them to become more engaged than ever. This type of giver will actually begin to move more and more of their generosity towards the church. They intuitively understand the eternal reward on investment the church uniquely provides. While nonprofits do great work, very few have the freedom to effect eternity. Unleash giving today!
For live generosity training please join my Facebook Group “Church Giving and Stewardship.”