Financial best practices for the church – Part 2

Today Casey Graham is going to teach us about three key financial systems needed in the local church. You can check out Casey’s organization at the ReThink Money website and his blog here. If you missed part one of this three part series you can check it out here.

And now… Casey Graham.

Most people want a quick fix to their churches finances! I will not offer that today. Today is about how to grow generosity in your church over the long haul.This can only be done through implementing systems! I will focus on three key financial systems.

1. First Time Giver System

What is a First Time Giver System (FTGS)? The FTGS is the system your church has in place to recognize the gifts from people who tithe or give an offering for the first time in your church.

Why is this system important? This system is important because it indicates a spiritual decision. You have to understand that EVERY financial decision is a spiritual decision. Jesus was clear that where we put our money our heart will follow. If people give your church $1 or a $1,000,000 it indicates spiritual activity in their life. We have to capitalize on this spiritual activity and equip people to continue giving. When people give, that is an invitation for God to work in their lives & finances!

What is the key point about this system? Recognition! It is important to recognize first time givers because when we recognize something it shows value and importance. For instance, if my daughter made her bed up every day but I never recognized her contribution she would quit doing it. Why? It would show her that I didn’t value her bed being made. On the other hand, if she made it up and we celebrated her for it, she would do it more frequently.

How do you implement a FTGS?

  • Monday: Have a financial accounting database – You have to know when people give for the first time. Even if it is an excel spreadsheet, make it someone’s responsibility to generate a list of people who gave for the first time.
  • Tuesday: Send an email/newsletter that gives them tools to help them with their personal finances. If you show a genuine interest in helping them with their finances (NOT JUST TRYING TO GET SOMETHING FROM THEM) they will more than likely give you a second shot with their resources. You can link them to our website at www.rethinkmoney.org/blog . We have financial tools available for free. I would include a link for online giving in this email or newsletter!
  • Wednesday: Send a communication piece in the mail that celebrates their gift and gives next steps for giving. I would give them the exact web address that takes them to online giving. When you do this, you can help them become consistent givers. This piece can be a letter, but I would recommend a hand written note from someone on your team. Right now a great touch would be to add a gas card in the note. You will reap a return on that investment!
  • Get Creative: Paul and I recorded a CD that he is going to send to each first time giver at Walls Down Church. On the disk we discuss the issue of debt and how to reduce personal debt. We also included some sample forms:a spending plan, a debt payoff plan, and a sample agenda for a financial meeting in the home. This gives people a practical tool that helps THEM be successful.

2. Consistent Giver System

What is a Consistent Giver System (CGS)? The CGS is the system you have in place to remind your faithful givers WHY they give!

Why is this system important? This system is important because people will ultimately look at their giving as an expense more than an investment. Faithful people forget the why behind the what! The WHY is life change. You should constantly be communicating to your people that when they give their gifts make a difference in eternity.

What is the key point about this system? Remind! Again, reminding people why they do what they do is huge. This is called sharing vision!

How do you implement a CGS?

  • Quarterly contribution statements – If you just send one end of year giving statement, you are missing a great opportunity to encourage your faithful givers. With the contribution statement, include a letter from the Senior Pastor that shares stories of life change. This letter should REMIND people why they give.
  • Bi-Monthly Newsletter/Email – This newsletter/email can be a very simple or really involved. I would suggest recording a two minute video of someone on staff thanking them for their contribution and post that video on youtube.com. Then you can link to the video and it will encourage people to continue being faithful
  • Offer financial coaching – Make sure you have a step that people can take to learn more about managing their personal finances. At ReThink Money we provide a financial discipleship process that is simple and cheap! Tomorrow we will talk about that in depth.
  • I have a lot of different ideas on this. For a sample letter that we use for quarterly contributions e-mail me at cgraham@rethinkmoney.org

3. Worship Service System

What is a Worship Service System (WSS)? The WSS is the system you have in place to communicate to your church in person about finances.

Why is this system important? If you don’t talk about finances from your stage consistently people will not value you it as much! We talk about what we value.

What is the key point about this system? Consistency! People will do what you talk about.

How do you implement a WSS?

  • Communicate WHY you are taking up the offering – Most churches STINK at taking up the offering. When you take up an offering you should stand up on the stage and tell people why they are giving. Practical Tip: Read a life change story and then take up the offering. It will show people that their dollars make a difference in the Kingdom.
  • Teach two series a year on money – One series can focus on personal finances and one series can focus on giving! One time a year is not enough. Jesus taught on it all of the time. Why wouldn’t we?
  • I COULD GIVE 100 ideas on this one but I am out of time!

At ReThink Money we offer many different coaching packages to help you navigate and implement financial systems! For a custom quote email me at cgraham@rethinkmoney.org . We will help you increase your giving quickly!

2 thoughts on “Financial best practices for the church – Part 2

  1. Wow! I am going to put every single one of these practices in place. I am going to post a link on my blog here in about an hour. Great, great, great stuff!

    Thanks Paul & Casey!

    -Shaun & Crew

  2. I have to say that the one thing that spurred me to give without hesitation is that every week, our church refers to the offering as giving back to God. We recognize that everything we have is God’s and this is the part of the gathering when we worship with our giving just a portion of all he has done for us. Its transformed my perspective from one of “trust God and he will come through” to “worship God because he is God”.

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