Three things to do before your annual Tithe Talk
We’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of pastors and churches around the country. Challenges around messages on giving and tithing are real and very personal. As you prepare to deliver your next talk about financial generosity, consider these three thoughts:
1. Prepare your heart.
It is vital to the success of your church that your heart is growing in the area of giving. Do you give with a cheerful heart? Are you give more than you do now? It's unlikely that you will be able to take a church somewhere that you’re not going yourself. No one has this figured out completely, and we are all on a journey to grow in the grace of giving. A few questions to ask yourself that will help as you take time thinking and praying through this area:
What do I believe about giving?
Who has influenced my beliefs about generosity?
Do I have any bitterness or resentment in this area?
Do I believe generosity is about more than money?
Thinking through these questions will better equip you as we move into the season of giving, and as you move toward bringing your church with you.
2. Don’t wait until the annual tithe talk to discuss giving.
Wrestle with the question above: “Do I believe generosity is about more than money?”
If you believe that giving is about more than money, consider sharing different ways you found yourself living generously with your church. At I Like Giving, we talk about seven ways to live generously: time, words, thoughts, money, attention, sharing stuff, and influence. Naturally, certain areas are easier for some to give than others. You might find that some of the older generations in your church have been satisfied with financial giving, but the up-and-coming millennial generation subscribes to a broader definition. They want to find other ways to be generous in the church, such as volunteering. They will connect with you more when you introduce ideas of generosity that are often skipped over (attention, words, thoughts, etc.).
The incredible thing you’ll experience is that generosity is all interconnected. When people start to give in one area, they will begin to give in others as well. A recent study done by Barna showed that people who volunteer more often give more money.
In the coming weeks consider incorporating stories of giving in each service (before your message or during). These can be stories on the impact of gifts, or unique and fun generosity stories happening in your church. Struggling to come up with ideas? Check out our films for inspiration.
3. Watch out for guilt to creep in.
Unfortunately, in an attempt to get people to give more, guilt is often used. Even with the best intentions, a message about the joy and privilege of giving can quickly turn to duty about the tithe and giving 10%.
Remember: God loves a cheerful giver. Trust him in the giving and encourage people to give cheerfully.
Use stories to showcase the joy that comes from giving.
Invite people from your church to share their journey of giving and what has happened in their lives.
Looking for more resources as you guide your church toward greater generosity? Check out Cultivate Generosity, our online course designed specifically for pastors!