What kinds of things are you emphasizing, when you share with the congregation about what’s going on in the life of the church? Are you talking about all your incredible missions work? Are you sharing about the vitality of your Youth Ministry? Are you bragging on the choir and inviting others to come join in?
When it comes to church finances, many pastors and church leaders believe you shouldn’t talk about money, because it just makes people uncomfortable. Actually, the opposite is true. Being open, transparent, and inspirational about the state of money in your church is actually a healthy thing. It breeds trust, confidence and commitment.
Do you have a brief stewardship moment in each service? Do you have different voices sharing their testimony about why they give faithfully and generously? Do you have young people stand up and share why they love the youth group, or children talk about their beloved Sunday School teacher. It is surprising how a brief testimony or brief stewardship moment shared just before receiving the offering can really help.
John Maxwell, the widely-read leadership writer and teacher, says “What gets talked about, gets done.” In other words, when you are excited about an upcoming work trip, ask a few people who went on last year’s trip to speak about their experience. You will find recruiting new folks for this year’s trip is made easier. When you talk about an upcoming building expansion and the reasons you feel God is calling you to move forward, you’ll find raising the funds for the project easier than you thought. When you lift up a choir concert and how hard the singers have worked, there is certainty that more people will attend the concert.
Whatever good things are happening in your church, talk about them. Give thanks to God for them, and share your good news widely: in worship, in print, on your church website, on Facebook, and in small groups – talk about it! If your church ends the year having received more than the expenses, praise the congregation for their faithfulness. Give praise to God, and thank them for supporting God’s work and reassure them that this is a sign that God is with them.
Your church leaders and your pastor should be speaking regularly through many different forms of media, about the things you are doing and what you want to support. Have a team create a short video to be shared during the announcements. Put a blurb in the bulletin. Post a picture and a brief story or testimony on Facebook. And make sure almost everything you do ends up on your church website. Verbal announcements, video segments, personal testimonies, newsletter articles, distributed emails, and on and on; all of these are ways you can tell the story of what God is doing in and through your church.
The more positive things you share and talk about, the more “informed” your congregation will be, and the more likely they will be to participate and support what you are trying to do.
Rev Dr Bruce Jones
Pastor , Concord UMC, Seaford, DE