Are you a pastor looking for new offering message ideas? We're here to help. Keep reading for 15 ways you can get creative when it comes to encouraging the congregation to give tithes and offerings.
Why Do Pastors Need Creative Offering Messages?
The average church in America has 75 regular participants. Church size varies based on geographic location, denomination, and ministry offerings.
For every mega-church, there are hundreds of mid-size church congregations and thousands of small churches.
One thing they all have in common is dealing with the fact that not all church-goers tithe. And there are many people that do not give at all.
A big test for pastors came in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. With churches closed and many resorting to virtual services for the first time, they saw significant drops in tithes and offerings.
In addition to promoting various ways to give online, pastors also looked for inspiring ways to get parishioners to give during a time when their faith was being tested.
Here are ways to inspire congregants to give that can work for any church.
1. The Gift of Love
Asking for money is uncomfortable regardless of the situation or who is asking. Imagine the plight of pastors having to stand before their congregations every week asking people to donate to the church. In some instances, lifting an offering occurs two or three times on Sundays and once or twice during weekday services.
First Corinthians 13:4-8 is the first scripture that comes to mind when we think about love. It is read at weddings and is the subject of sermons the Sunday before Valentine's day.
Creative offering messages centered around love and vow renewals can tie into parishioner's renewal of their love for God. As a husband showers his wife with gifts, so should the church shower God with gifts.
For love to endure forever it must be maintained. Upkeep comes with a cost, and you want the best for the church so it can grow stronger.
Include red envelopes in the pews that include a space to write a special message to the church or pastor. Leading up to the service, provide an opportunity for people to purchase message hearts to display in the church foyer.
This idea works particularly well in February around Valentine's Day.
2. A Praise of Thanksgiving
Throughout the book of Psalm, there is a litany of scriptures about being thankful. Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect on all the wonderful blessings we've received over the year.
Get creative by hosting a series of sermonettes presented by the associate pastors within the church. Or guest pastors from the area. The messages will have a central theme and bed based on a chosen scripture.
Each speaker will have 15 minutes to deliver a unique message to the congregation. The essence of each is sowing a seed of gratitude in response to all that has been given to them.
The Thanksgiving service should tie into an effort to distribute food baskets to families in need. Throughout the month of November, ask the congregation to donate food items. The church can also partner with non-profits like Feeding America or local grocery store chains.
Invite families to join you for an evening of worship, prior to the distribution of the baskets.
3. The Christmas Gift
According to James 1:17, every good and perfect gift is from above. During the holiday season, a lot of people are in a giving spirit. Too often it is to the detriment of the church with a dip in tithes and offerings.
The pastor will want to use this time to remind everyone that the church should also have a place on their Christmas giving lists.
There are two times to reinforce this message. On the first Sunday in December, and again the Sunday before Christmas. If your church hosts a Christmas Eve service, you can give a final push.
Christmas giving messages usually come under the title of "A Gift for the King." Stray away from this reference and come up with your own creative message.
Start with a short skit about the birth of Jesus and tie in how the three wise men traveled from afar to bring him gifts. Demonstrate how the congregation now represent the wise men and the church reflects Jesus.
Have the youth department in charge of the service because we all know children bring joy to Christmas. Just as the baby Jesus did for the world.
4. First Fruits
Bringing in the new year with Watch Night services is a tradition in African American Churches. The tradition for black churches began on December 31, 1862, and carries on until today. It derived from the anticipation of slavery coming to an end at 12:01 AM on January 1st, 1863.
It is customary for the church to lift an offering during the night, and a second offering shortly after midnight.
For your creative offering messages do something a little different. For the first offering of the new year, craft a sermon using Proverbs 3:9, which speaks of first fruits.
Use actual fruit as you show the congregation how giving can multiply over time. The focus of the message is not about tithes and offerings. It is a demonstration of how our harvest multiplies throughout the year.
The analogy being when we bring our first fruits as a celebration, our harvest continues to grow. Therefore, we have more than enough fruit (money) to do everything the church needs to get done.
Because Watch Night is a celebration service, highlight the many accomplishments of the past year. Spotlight the church's goals for the new year. Show the congregation how valuable their contributions are.
Not just in money, but also in their participation in ministry, outreach, and discipleship.
5. It's Our Anniversary
Church anniversaries are cause for celebration. Whether you're celebrating your church's 10th or 100th anniversary, creative offering messages delivered by a guest pastor is the norm.
There are many ways to raise an offering during this time. Chances are, there will be multiple services devoted to the church anniversary. The month-long celebration often includes a banquet and an official anniversary cumulation service.
In addition to Christmas, Easter, and Mother's Day, the church anniversary service is among the highest attendance days for a church.
During the month, there is a call for past members to come and celebrate. The messages are centered around unity, looking back while charging forward to reach new heights in ministry. Services recognize the contributions of long term members. They also reinforce the church's staying power through the next generation of young adult worshippers.
Galatians 6:9 becomes the perfect setting for perseverance and reaping a good harvest.
Charge the congregation to give an offering, in addition to their tithe. Make the amount equal to the number of years they've been at the church. Make it a testament to the foundation for which the church is built.
6. Virtual Messages
Now that churches have been forced into accepting digital technology, many are embracing the capabilities to reach a global audience. Older churches are reconnecting with younger generations aligned with virtual messages.
They are more likely to send a friend money through a Cash App or pay a bill on a mobile app. Armed with this information, pastors are creating short videos outside of standard Sunday sermons. These streams are more along the lines of creative inspirational messages.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a favorite among young adults looking for encouragement.
The pastor is not in the pulpit or in formal gear. They are dressed in blue jeans and a t-shirt. Instead of speaking from the pulpit, the message is delivered from their home or a popular eatery.
Attention-grabbing graphics are displayed at the top or bottom of the video as a reminder of ways to give online.
Another way for a pastor to deliver a creative offering message is to host an offsite Bible study at a location comfortable for Millennials. It is not about trying to fit in but to meet them where they are.
The message needs to apply to their challenges as well as offering opportunities to serve outside the traditional church ministry. You'll see they are more apt to give financially when it relates to what they are passionate about.
7. Financial Testimonies
Checks in the mail, money found and unexpected blessings are always great ways to get people excited about giving.
Luke 6:38 states, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over... What better way to demonstrate this via creative offering messages than to have people share their financial testimonies.
Seeing and hearing someone who has witnessed a financial miracle goes much further than the pastor speaking on hypotheticals.
The message can include how faithful givers have blessed the church to continue mission work and help others locally.
8. College Alumni Day
The tithe is considered the financial foundation that keeps the church doors open. Offerings go towards meeting the needs of ministries. One ministry that carries a large budget is the youth ministry.
An important part of youth ministry is supporting high school students with college scholarships.
We all love repping our alumni or favorite college sports team. What better way to get the congregation to loosen up and have some fun than placing a spotlight on education.
Everyone wears college jerseys. The lobby and sanctuary are decorated with college pennants on loan from parishioners. The youth ministry is placed in charge of the service.
The pastor can get creative using 1 Timothy 4:12 as the foundation to the youth about setting the example. The message then goes to the congregation to set an example for the youth by supporting their future.
When it comes to education, every dollar counts. Seeing the youth in action, hearing their future plans, and following the pastor's message, will lead to a good offering.
9. The Unexpected
A leaky roof, worn carpet, damaged pews and peeling paint are all issues the church faces. Ecclesiastes 10:18 warns us about slothfulness. The church must be maintained with the same expectations of our personal homes.
When the money isn't there to cover routine maintenance, the pastor has to ask for a special offering.
This scripture isn't meant to condemn the congregation. It is a reminder that we cannot become slack in our giving. When we do, maintenance of the edifice gets delayed and eventually costs the church more in repairs.
Share a video of the roof leaking during the last rainstorm. Or photograph other maintenance issues. Schedule a care day where members volunteer to help the maintenance crew with some tasks.
10. Ministry Team Spirit
Joining a church often comes with an assessment to determine which ministries are best suited for the individual. The assessment is based on the seven spirits of the Holy Spirit, taken from Isaiah 11: 2-3. They include:
- fear of the Lord
Celebrating the time, talent and commitment of church volunteers is a worthwhile cause. Ministry team spirit week at the church is an awesome way to celebrate the services ministries provide. In addition, it piques the interest of those individuals not yet in a service role.
To tie in creative offering messages, the pastor can spotlight how much money the church saves because of volunteers. The message then pivots to how much more they can do for the community with the generosity of the congregants.
Not everyone is able to serve physically, but we all can serve through our tithes and offerings.
11. Social Media Sunday
With the growth of social media and its impacts on churches, hosting a social media Sunday allows you to get creative with your giving message. Start by inviting your online community to attend church in person on a designated day.
Set aside a time to acknowledge them during service. Have fun activities planned including:
- a service selfie photo challenge
- generational giving challenge
- church t-shirt challenge
- an Android vs iPhone challenge
The message will focus on Matthew 28:16-20, which is known as the great commission. God knew there would be a time such as this and wanted us to be prepared to reach beyond the walls of the church.
It's all in good fun while encouraging people to give in the various ways made easy by eGiving.
12. Planting Good Seeds
Creative offering messages are not always about a direct plea for people to give money. Sometimes churches are approached with fundraising opportunities. They come with a proportion split where the church benefits financially.
It is the pastor's job to get creative and pitch the idea to the congregation. There are at least 46 scriptures in the Bible pertaining to planting good seeds. What better way to reinforce this, than a tree-seed fundraiser?
The message can center around environmental protection and climate change. Encourage the congregation to do their part for a better tomorrow. God gave us the earth, and it is our responsibility to care for it.
13. Our Brothers and Sisters Keeper
Offering message ideas should include helping those in the church and neighboring communities. Hebrews 13 is a great text to research to create a message on raising offerings for benevolence.
People come to the church when they need help with utility bills and rent payments. The pastor has the duty of reminding the church of their obligations to the poor and people in situational need.
If possible, get permission from people the church has helped to share their testimony in your message. When people can relate to those being helped they are moved to give.
14. Brick Layers
Of course, they are getting a new or larger edifice, but why not make it personal and memorable.
People love engraved bricks. It's a way to show their contribution to the project. Also included is the opportunity to honor or memorialize a loved one. Plus, it's a quick and easy way to raise money for the project.
Churches benefit from these endeavors because the cost of the bricks and engraving is minimal compared to the total offering they raise. Some people will donate, although they are not purchasing a brick.
15. Miracles and Wonders
The church is always to be a blessing to others while sharing the good news. During moments of rebuilding Isaiah 9:10 is a quick reference.
When storms come and people are impacted by natural disasters, the world looks to the church to take the lead. Parishioners are often ready to help in any way possible.
Pastors know it will take more than a one-time offering to help some communities and countries rebuild. Their messages to the congregation have to make it clear the commitments the church has made to help others in their time of need.
It is someone else this time but could be us next.
Setting up online giving is another important opportunity for churches. Live streaming has opened doors to a virtual audience that is limitless. It has been proven time and time again that hosting virtual services does not impact attendance at physical services.
In fact, it has the potential to increase it.
Churches equipped to accept offerings online can do so via their church website. This option allows the church to capture demographic information that's used to connect via e-newsletters and mailings.
Features like text-to-give are essential for receiving tithes when members are traveling. It also provides a fast, safe option when someone hears a moving message and is moved to give in that moment.
You no longer have to wait for the offering segment during the traditional service. The option for eGiving can get posted via banners on electronic screens streaming the service.
This happens in the church and online. If your church has a mobile app, giving reminders are sent at the same time as the church e-Newsletter. Recipients can give via these apps and methods of communication.
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