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Faith Leaders 3min read

4 Epic Church Giving Fails

We all enjoy laughing at pictures of tragic cakes with misspelled messages every now and again. However, these “epic fails” aren’t quite as funny when they hit too close to home. When it comes to church giving, you want to stay as far away from “epic fail” status as you possibly can.

Where does your place of worship stand? Let’s take a look at some examples of church giving fails, and how your ministry can avoid these mistakes.

4 Epic Church Giving Fails

Epic Fail #1: The Silent Treatment

One of the biggest mistakes your church can make is to never, ever talk about money. Sure, it can be an awkward conversation, but church giving is not a topic that you can just sweep under the rug. If you do, your numbers will dwindle.

Don’t shy away from talking about church giving. Your congregation needs to know and be reminded that giving is essential, and that it’s an integral part of worship.

Epic Fail #2: The Stealth Offering

What happens when you pass the offering plate? Do you just start passing them during a hymn or a special song, with no explanation of what’s happening? Not only can this be confusing to visitors, it can lead your members to think that giving is unimportant. Opting for offering boxes in the back or in the lobby (but failing to mention them) also makes giving seem like an afterthought.

When the offering occurs, make sure someone takes a few seconds to stand before the congregation and explain what’s happening. This can be a great opportunity to remind folks about your electronic church giving options, too. If you do have offering boxes, explain where they are located during the service, too.

Epic Fail #3: Limiting Yourself with Outdated Methods

4 Epic Church Giving Fails

For most of the 20th century, church giving methods stayed the same. People gave in cash, or they wrote checks. Credit and debit cards made their debut, but few churches bothered to accept them due to cost and hassle. Then something pretty important happened toward the end of the 20th century: the internet.

Fast forward a few years, and most church members have internet access in their pockets every day thanks to smartphones. Churches that don’t allow members to give electronically are limiting themselves, and their members, to outdated options.

Implementing a modern mobile church giving platform is a breeze, and it opens up convenient new avenues for giving. People who show up without cash or a checkbook can still give using their smartphones, and people who want to give but can’t be physically in attendance can participate, too.

Epic Fail #4: Making Church Giving Too Complicated

If you have already implemented electronic/mobile giving, that’s fantastic — but you could still be missing the mark. First, some mobile giving platforms are so complicated people will feel like only a master detective could navigate the system. Secondly, some churches promote mobile giving so little that many of their people don’t even know it’s an option.

Select a church giving solution that makes the giving process simple and easy to understand, and then make sure people know about it. Put an announcement and instructions in your bulletin, on your pre-service and offering slides, and on your website. Post about it on social media and in your email newsletter — and include a link to your electronic giving page for added convenience.

About the Author

Doug works to ensure member organizations maximize their fundraising potential. He is responsible for sharing best practices and guiding new Givelify partners to a successful launch. He has also been a volunteer tutor.

Doug Bergren