The starting point for any discussion on Christian Giving is generosity; not our generosity but God's - God's generosity to us.
The good news of the gospel is that God is generous; extraordinarily, extravagantly and sacrificially generous.
And perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that we are on the receiving end of the total generosity of God’s love and goodness. Indeed, all that we have comes from God.
During COVID-19 lockdown and self-isolation, we have to look at different ways of giving and encouraging giving. There is a helpful video and blog post from the National Giving Team to encourage people to give.
The Church of England has put together a one-hour webinar to support and guide your parish through this. It covers setting up, receiving and encouraging online donations; communicating with your community; as well as providing an opportunity to ask questions which will be answered live. Join a live webinar or watch this pre-recorded version.
You can also add a ‘Donate Now’ button to your ‘A Church Near You’ page. This short video shows just how easy it is to add a donate button to your ‘A Church Near You’ homepage. There is also a handy PDF guide here.
Tips for Safe Giving
- Encourage regular giving
Ensure that there is a mechanism to enable planned giving from your worshipping community. Using Standing Orders provides a reliable and regular income for your church, and carries no infection risk.
- Explore contactless giving options
These options are accessible and safe, often requiring no contact and meaning the donation goes directly into the church bank account. Where digital units include touch screens, we recommend putting hand sanitisers next to the unit, and cleaning wipes which can be used to clean the screen between each donation.
- Get a QR code
QR codes are a really safe way to encourage simple giving as individuals simply use their phone to scan your unique QR code, allowing them to make a donation.
QR codes are easy to set up and you can then put this QR code everywhere: On posters, notice sheets, emails, cards, banners, notice boards, and on-screen via social network platforms.
- Make precautions for cash
It is important to say that handling cash increases the risk of infection.
If you are going to accept cash donations, make sure you have assessed the whole process, including thinking of those who will be counting and banking the money, and so will be exposed to risk. For those people, provide appropriate precautions including gloves and hand sanitisers.
- Share your story
Find ways to tell people what their giving is enabling in your church.
Use notice boards to share your vision, and display pictures of ministries through which your church serves.
- Thank your givers
This is such an important part of relationships with givers. It’s really easy to thank people, as simple as putting up a ‘thank you’ poster near to your donation points. You can also download a template thank you note for your Treasurer to send on the Treasurers page.
The challenge for us as Christians is in the way in which we respond to God’s generosity. How should we be using our time, energy, skills, money and possessions? Everything that we have should be offered back to God to be used in his service; devoted to the work of his kingdom, and to living and sharing the gospel. And ‘everything’ includes our money.
God has given us, his church, all that we need to do the work that he has set before us. This means, in fact, that we already have all the money that we need. We need to give a proportion back to him, for the work of his kingdom and for the ministry and mission of our church.
The characteristics of Christian giving
The New Testament provides us with some clear guidance. Our giving should be:
- Proportional (2 Corinthians 8: 1-5)
A thought about, prayed about proportion of what we have. Scripture urges us to tithe; to give back to God a tenth of all that we earn. Our Diocese recommends that we aim at giving 5% of our net income to and through the church.
- Planned and regular (1 Corinthians 16: 1-2)
Set aside and given weekly or monthly.
- Generous (Romans 12: 8)
A real response to the God who gives and loves to give.
- Cheerful (2 Corinthians 9: 7)
Given simply, openly and willingly; delighting in being able to support the Mission and Ministry of the church.
From time to time we all need to consider how our giving measures up to these benchmarks. This should be done thoughtfully and prayerfully before God, in the knowledge that no one is going to tell us how much to give.
It is for each one of us, guided by the Holy Spirit, to set a level of giving to God and his church that is appropriate for us.
Giving for Life
Download copies of the Giving for Life booklet, leaflets, talk outline and more. Additional printed copies are available to Clergy from Diocesan House.