One of the major effects of churches having to close their doors during this time is the decrease in weekly giving. Churches around the world are struggling financially, as they are losing money while they are not able to have services, due to COVID-19.
In order to successfully ask your members to continue to tithe and give to your church, you need to provide value to them–this is the case always, but especially now, when you are not able to gather each week.
No healthy relationship is single-sided, and the more value you can provide to your members, the more likely it is that they will be willing to help when you need to ask for financial support.
Below are 12 ways you can provide value to your members.
- Email or text encouraging words from your pastor, a quote from your favorite or patron Saint, a Bible verse, or send a link to an inspiring video or blog post.
- Send a quick text simply asking, “What can we do for you?” or “How can we pray for you?”
- Offer ways that your members can help others right now. Many people want to help, and they expect their church to be leading them with ways to do so.
- Share a favorite memory of the church community or from a past church event. Tell the story of the founding of your church history or building.
- Offer book recommendations from your pastor or staff. You can also offer an intro to popular devotions your flock may want to take up.
- Write a daily prayer that’s specific to your community. You can even create a little prayer card for members to print out and put on their fridge.
- Suggest family faith-building activities or discussion questions. Provide resources for simple ways to pray and study the faith together, to support and encourage the families in your church.
- Call everyone over 60 (or those who are particularly vulnerable), get their grocery list or other needs, and deliver it to their porch.
- Recruit volunteers to write cards or create care packages to deliver to every family’s porch in your flock.
- Commit to having your staff personally call every single family in your community to check in on them. This gesture alone could do more for your community and relationships than any other communication effort.
- Share ways (via video interviews or photos if possible) your church is serving your community during this time.
- Give your members something to look forward to by getting them excited about a big event you have planned later this year!
After reaching out and providing resources and encouragement to your members, be open and transparent about your needs as a church (financial, staffing, and otherwise). Share how you’re still providing value to the community and preparing for all the great work your church plans to do this year. All of this adds value to your relationship with your people.
Another piece of advice–don’t be overzealous in your sharing. Just because your members may not be able to see you in person on Sunday right now, doesn’t mean that they necessarily want to hear from you every single day. That said, don’t overshare, otherwise you’ll lose your flock’s attention and they’ll start to tune you out. Keep your communications packed with only the most important, high-value information, and don’t overwhelm your people with too much info. We hope these 12 ideas help you provide value to your church members. Share your ideas in the comments below.