Nobody likes to talk about money. Even fewer like to ask for money. But if your church is going to continue to grow in ministry effectiveness, you’ve got to get comfortable with it. And if your church is going thrive, you’ve got to get good at it. Thankfully, getting ‘good’ at talking about money can be just as simple as shifting your perspective a bit. When you ditch the mindset that giving is a ‘have to’ of Christian life, and instead begin to believe it’s a ‘get to’ that shows people have truly embraced the generosity of God in all areas of their lives, talking about money becomes something entirely different.
"...managing your online giving process with your church management system can help you manage the relationships in your church..."
And churches that cultivate generosity well have very simple, intentional processes in place because – SPOILER ALERT – cultivating and then measuring giving doesn’t have to be complex.
But there are some that are of the belief that faith and formulas can’t coexist. And on a topical level, it makes sense. Faith is about trust and belief, and using metrics for matters of the heart can feel emotionally and spiritually disconnected.
Granted, data can’t provide all the answers, but it helps us better understand what we can learn from what we are seeing. Ask yourself, “How can we take this ‘metric’ to the next level – and what does it mean?”
A person’s giving habits can provide us with a window into their spiritual growth, ministry commitment, life situation, and more – so expanding your expectations to include online giving options that not only process electronic transactions but also integrate with a church management software would ensure you have an accurate picture of each member, their habits, and measurable trends.
It’s true: Managing your online giving process with your church management system can help you manage the relationships in your church.
Because when churches integrate their online giving with their church management software, they experience a measurable increase in online giving participation and greater clarity about the people in their pews.
POP QUIZ! True or false: More congregants equals more giving.
So if you’re ready to shift your perspective and leverage your ChMS to help you cultivate and measure generosity, here are four things you need to believe about generosity and giving:
1. Knowing when people give is the first step to increasing generosity.
The act of financial giving is one of the strongest indicators that a person’s heart has truly changed in their journey of following Christ. And a pattern or habit of giving shows you just how committed that person is to truly living out a new life. If a church member suddenly stops giving or their giving slows dramatically, it’s a sign that something’s happening in their lives that could need your attention as a church leader. They could be going through a financial hardship (job loss, medical emergency, etc.) or something’s happening that’s leading them to disengage with your church. Track individual giving, and use your church management software to generate reports you review on a regular basis to spot trends or anomalies in giving that you may need to address.
2. Increasing generosity requires a balance of art and science.
Church leaders who lean too heavily on their ‘gut feelings’ can risk leading the church down a dangerous path. Leaders who lean too heavily on information can often miss the opportunity to act. You know far more about your members’ giving patterns than you probably realize, but you’ve got to create and follow a process to collect, organize, report and act on that data. Don’t just listen to your ‘gut,’ but don’t get caught in the weeds of all your data, either. Find a process that works for you and follow it consistently.
3. Increasing generosity doesn’t just happen.
It requires strategy and process and consistency. This happens when you cultivate relationships with givers, effectively use technology to learn about your church members’ giving, make a plan based on what your data and reports are telling you, and make sure you’re integrating messages about generosity and giving into all aspects of your church’s engagement and connection efforts.
4. Increasing generosity is just as much about managing people as it is about managing money.
So many churches emphasize the financial aspect of their giving efforts and forget that it’s people who are behind those gifts. You have to do both well, and that means realizing that you need two distinct strategies for dealing with both that you’re consistently executing on.
"...granted, data can’t provide all the answers, but it helps us better understand what we can learn from what we are seeing..."
Generosity is a reflection of what people are doing, rather than what they’re saying; behavior reflects the truth in our heart.
And your ChMS can convert giving into metrics. It’s not just about contribution records; it’s about managing our relationship with each member.
Our church management software enables us to find ways to measure what’s working and what isn’t. Our ChMS can help bridge the gap between our people and our process; between the heart and mind. It is as crucial for establishing and fostering generosity as it is for revealing incredible ministry opportunities that you may otherwise miss.
It’s shocking but true: Cold, calculated data can help you deliver the warm, personal touch that builds trust and connection – and, over time, the number of disciples in your church!
But you won’t know that if you aren’t measuring – and you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
A thriving, healthy, financially flourishing church doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of leaders and givers who are working in unison with a church management software to support what they believe God is calling them to do. It’s the result of leaders who know what’s happening with their financial gifts, and givers who feel connected to their church in ways that really matter – and will last.
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