End the year off strong when your church follows a well-planned list of financial to-do’s.
Nothing prepared us for 2020. In December 2019, none of us had any idea a global pandemic would cause church buildings worldwide to shutter. (Let’s face it: all those churches who launched the year with a Vision 2020 sermon series were suddenly getting tested for bifocals.)
We don’t know what 2023 holds any better than we knew what to expect in 2020. But in the middle of what is sure to be challenging economic times, there are a few best practices that will help us weather whatever comes our way.
7 Financial To-Do’s for a Strong Year-End
1. Ask God for a Faith-Filled Giving Goal
Never be afraid to set a giving goal that’s too big for your church to meet. Ask your congregation to give by faith. Your church collectively can demonstrate faith by setting a giving goal you can’t accomplish without God’s help. As your church trusts God to reach the goal, you’ll grow in faith. Ask him for the kind of giving goal that will stretch the faith of your church.
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2. Review Your Church’s Benevolence Fund in Light of Current Economic Needs
We don’t know where the economy will be next year, but all indications are that our communities will have more needs than in recent years. Make sure your budget is ready for these needs. Your church has needs as well, but you should be squeamish about asking your congregation to be generous if you’re not willing to be generous collectively.If you don’t tie your vision to your budget, you don’t have a vision. Reset your church practices for 2023 and specifically look at how your church budgets. Click To Tweet
3. Build Stewardship Into an Overarching Communication Plan
With fewer people these days growing up in churches, most people don’t automatically associate the work of the church with the funding of the church. You need to explicitly tie the two together as much as you can. When you report about something your church is doing in the community or around the world, let people know that it couldn’t happen without the generosity of your church.
Make these reminders habitual by writing them into your communication plan for every channel at your disposal (social media, website, the pulpit, bulletin, etc.)
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4. Create a Budget Tied to Your Church’s Vision
If you don’t tie your vision to your budget, you don’t have a vision. 2023 will be a great time for a reset on many church practices. Make this one of the practices you reset. As you kick the year off, take a fresh look at your budget, and make clear what your church values by where you put your resources.
5. Make Giving as Easy as Possible
People have enough reasons not to give to your church. Don’t add to those reasons by making it difficult to give. In 2023, that means you need a dynamic digital giving option. If people were not accustomed to digital giving before 2020, it’s likely they are now.
But it’s not enough to have digital giving options. Make sure they are easy to use. People should be able to give (and do so securely) in a couple of taps at the most. If not, it’s time to try a new giving provider.People have enough reasons not to give to your church. Don’t add to those reasons by making it difficult to give. In 2023, that means you need a dynamic digital giving option. Click To Tweet
6. Plan a Sermon Series Dealing with Stewardship
In a culture steeped in materialism, you must teach generosity. One of the biggest reasons people don’t give is that they don’t understand what the Bible really says about it. Don’t be afraid to preach about stewardship from the pulpit and teach about it in Sunday School classes and small groups. Generosity is one of the most important ways we pattern our lives after Jesus. To not show people how to live generously is spiritual malpractice.
7. Prepare Now For Giving Tuesday
People think about giving during the holidays more than any other time of the year. The first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is a great time to encourage your congregation to give to a specific cause. Start planning now what that cause, whether internal or external, will be. Even in the middle of global economic uncertainty, 2023 could be your church’s most generous year yet.
These practices are a great place to start.
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This article has been adapted from an article originally featured in Ministry Team Magazine.