Today we start a three-part guest blog series by my friend and financial mentor Casey Graham. Casey is the founder and President of Re-Think Money, an organization committed to changing people’s lives one dollar at a time.
And now my friend, Casey Graham.
Let me start off by saying thank you to Paul Peterson for allowing me to be a part of his blog. Paul, you add tremendous value and I appreciate this opportunity to connect with your readers!
Today, we are going to look at some VERY practical steps to increase generosity levels within your church. I believe that even during a down economy you can INCREASE your giving between 10% and 30%. This is a three part strategy that if you do, you will increase your giving and help people become like Jesus!
Step 1 – Teach on the 90% not just the 10%
Most pastors and church leaders just want to talk about the 10% people need to give. The reason people get mad when you do this is because the average American spends 104% of their income. So when you stand up and say, “Give 10% because God says so” you are hitting a point of pain in their lives. If you want to help people and increase giving during a down economy, one of the first things you have to do is teach on personal finances this fall or after the New Year. I said, PERSONAL FINANCES (the 90%). This means helping people where they are hurting. Church leaders think that people do not like the church to preach on money. That is not true. People don’t like church leaders to beg for the 10%! If you teach on subjects like spending, saving, investing, debt, and giving all in one series people will thank you, not get mad at you. The need for Christ followers to understand personal finances is HUGE! When you teach on personal finances you help equip people on how to handle the most practical area of their lives! Don’t get me wrong, during the series teach on giving, but do it as part of a holistic teaching!
A personal financial series must be:
- Fun – Name it something crazy! At Mountain Lake Church we did a series last year called Becoming the Boss of our Bling. Our people loved it!
- Funny – During that series we dressed up like rappers and did a rap video!
- Practical – We gave specific actions that could add value immediately
- Simple – We narrowed our focus to just teach on Spending, Saving, Giving, and Debt.
- Challenging – We ask people to make life changing decisions. We had a credit card cut up in our services. We gave away thousands of dollars in a reverse offering and ask people to bless others with that money and share their stories with us. We asked people to give!
Step 2 – Offer short term giving challenge!
At Mountain Lake Church we have learned this principle! During your financial series ask people to make a commitment to give for a short period of time. You can do a 90 day giving challenge. We did a 90 day giving guarantee. We told our people if they tithed 10% of their gross income for 90 days and God did not meet their every need (not want) we would refund everything given during that time period. We saw an increase of 30% during that time period and people started giving for the first time ever!!!
The key is to create a short term commitment that people can make and feel good about. People don’t want to tithe forever! They want to know there is a start and stop in case they want out!
Step 3 – FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP!
When you have people make any kind of commitment during that series with their finances, create a follow-up process that will add value to their lives. Here are a couple of ways to do that:
- Send the Treasure Principle book by Randy Alcorn to each family. This book is a SHORT read that helps people understand generosity!
- Send hand written notes thanking them for their commitment.
- Send an email INVITING them to participate with online giving. Provide a direct link in the email. (If you don’t have online giving, you are REALLY missing out on a great opportunity for people to become consistent!)
- Offer a personal financial training session. I would be more than happy to lead your people through ReThink Money… the SIMPLEST financial curriculum on the market!
- I have a MILLION MORE IDEAS FOR THIS KIND OF STUFF! Just email me at email@example.com and we can chat about it!
At ReThink Money we want to equip you to grow your offerings and your people. We consult with churches all around the country. I am offering a special offer for Paul Peterson readers this week in our consulting packages! I am also offering specials on our one day seminar you can host this fall! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your custom quote! Oh yeah, our new curriculum will be out in September as well!