Today we’re going to look at 7 simple, yet effective strategies and techniques on how to encourage people to tithe.
You’ll be able to start implementing these right away right away.
Taken individually, these steps can begin impacting your church’s giving as soon as next week.
Taken together, you can dramatically redirect the financial direction of your church in the months and years ahead.
Did you know the average American Christian gives only 2-3% of their income to the church each year.
That’s a sad and shocking statistic…
A lack of tithing limits our ministry possibilities and hinders the gospel getting out into the nations.
It has always been God’s plan has always been to finance His work through the tithes and offerings of His people.
I believe a generous, tithing church is a powerful one. Not simply because of God’s blessing being released and poured out in the lives of your people, but more money in the offering basket means more lives changed.
So let me ask you:
- What would your church look like if you had more money for ministry?
- How many more opportunities could you take advantage of?
- How much bigger of an impact could you make?
- How many more lives you could reach?
Because really that’s what this all comes down to.
Creating a giving culture in your church won’t happen automatically, but you can do it. It is the result of a handful of small practices and processes done consistently over time and done well.
So let’s get started! Here are 7 key strategies you can use to encourage more people to tithe:
1. Model sacrificial giving
This has to be number one. Encourage your people to tithe by modelling sacrificial giving yourself.
Be a shining example to others and be generous with your time and money. People will see this and follow your lead.
A couple of years ago, I decided to be a giver. It’s a fundamental decision that changed my life.
As a missionary in a third world country you could say I’ve given a lot up already. It would have been easy for me to stay in a “I need, I need, I need” mentality but I just refused.
I made a commitment to start giving more. Now I’m a missionary who supports other missionaries. I give more finances, to meet more needs, to send more teams and be a blessing to those around me.
People see that and when I challenging them to give more they’re far more likely to respond.
2. Preach about money specifically
A fear of teaching about financial stewardship results only in a greater need to teach about it later. Sharing what the scriptures say about giving up front and center will help your people become faithful stewards and givers.
Our focus should always be to teach our people to be faithful givers, not because the budget says so, but because the Bible says so. Our goal is that our people please God, not the church finance committee.
I believe God wants everyone to learn to become more generous with what He has given them. While Christians cannot serve God and money, they must be taught to serve God with their money.
To accomplish this there are two main elements of your Sunday service you can take advantage of:
1. Share before handing out the collection plate
While some debate whether the New Testament teaches a tithe (10%), it is clear God expects believers to give cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7), regularly (1 Cor. 16:2) and sacrificially (Mark 12:41-44).
If we don’t teach this mandate intentionally and passionately, we should not be surprised when our congregations don’t give.
The average offering talk lasts only 2 or 3 minutes, but it’s those few moments in a church service that funds the entire ministry.
2. Plan a creative sermon series about finances
Pastor John Maxwell has taught sound Biblical stewardship principles at hundreds of pastors’ and leaders’ conferences.
He says that preaching on generosity is the single most important thing he does each year to encourage his people to tithe and improve their spiritual and financial lives.
I‘m guessing many people within the vicinity of your local church are struggling with the consequences of poor financial decisions.
The Bible is full of wisdom and guidance about money and healthy financial stewardship – teach about saving, budgeting, debt, spending habits, and money management.
Plan a specific month in the year’s calendar to address the issue of money. Here’s some sermon series ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Tell people how the Lord has creatively provided for you and others you know who faithfully honoured the Lord in their tithe.
When you teach from the head it goes to the head, but when you teach from your life it goes to the heart.
God’s people will give more to His work if we help them first learn to budget and spend well.
3. Paint the big picture
God’s people are far more willing to tithe if they know they’re giving to a bigger, God-sized purpose.
Churches that try to encourage people to tithe just so that they can keep their doors open to the regular few aren’t likely to increase their financial budget. There’s nothing inspiring about having a small or unclear vision.
Or maybe you have a brilliant vision… but no one knows it. How can you expect them to give if they don’t know what they’re giving to?
The vision of your church should be an easy to remember single statement that everybody knows. Constantly talk about and let everything you do come out of the vision you have.
4. Ensure your accounts ooze financial integrity
The work we do is God’s work and anything less than absolute integrity will lack His blessing.
Create a winning financial strategy for your church – take an honest look at your church’s accounting and budgeting processes and make sure they’re up to scratch.
What system do you have for counting and depositing funds?
How are the records handled?
How are expenditures approved?
Are your books audited annually?
Your congregation are your biggest donors – they deserve to know what’s happening with their donations.
Encourage them to tithe by being open and transparent – show them what their giving is accomplishing.
Some churches send out quarterly giving record reports to their congregations with a financial newsletter.
Churches who regularly communicate with their congregations about budgets and ministry expenses have more people tithing than those that don’t.
5. Tell stories of changed lives
You’re using your budget to reach out to the unreached and spread the gospel – why not share these stories with the people who make this possible?
Just as vision motivates people to give more than necessity, stories will get more people tithing than statistics.
While it’s important to share financial information, don’t stop there – personalise it. Put faces and names to their financial giving.
Is there a family in your community your church was able to support during a difficult time? Tell your givers!
Is there a couple in your congregation who was burdened by financial fear and stress until they discovered the life-giving power of the tithing principle? Share the good news!
These stories make generosity personal and powerful. It doesn’t matter if you tell these stories via video, email or a Q&A session before the offering – just get the word out!
Here’s a great example of a simple video one church made to show the impact their giving is making:
6. Automate giving
For a number of years churches have debated whether they should pass the plate or have a box in the back for offerings… Honestly, I think the answer is both, and more!
One of the simplest ways to encourage people to tithe is by increasing the number of ways they can.
Pass the plate, have a box at the back, offer online giving through your website, have electronic check processing, provide the ability to do stock transfers through a brokerage account, accept gifts-in-kind, and estate gifts.
A survey conducted with over 1,000 churches revealed that only 14% of churches are exceeding their budget.
Of these 14% of churches, ‘the ability to receive automatic donations‘ was listed as the single most significant factor in encouraging people to tithe.
By providing an automated way to give, your members can ensure things like illness, travel, cancelled services or forgetfulness can not come between them and their gift to your church.
Why? Because even with the best of intentions, sometimes we just forget…
When tithes and offerings are automated, it is consistent and reliable.
It’s win-win – it’s convenient for your tithers and your finance teams can start to predict in advance what their monthly giving will look like, making ministry planning much easier.
If you don’t already have an automated way to give, seriously consider introducing one.
7. Thank your tithers
“That which gets rewarded gets repeated.” – Andy Stanley
This is so simple it’s often the most overlooked. What better way to encourage a person toward a life of faithful financial stewardship than with a simple and sincere “Thank you”?
Don’t just feel grateful to your tithing members – express it by saying thanks.
We say it all the time; for someone holding a door, for a plate of food received, for a compliment, but sadly this phrase seems almost non-existent in our church’s giving. Gratitude is often a trigger of even greater generosity.
This can go further than a general “Thanks” from the pulpit.
Send them a thank you note to express gratitude to those people who tithe regularly and faithfully. Sending them to first time givers can be especially effective.
Try doing this for 6 months and see what happens!
I hope this guide helps you in knowing how to encourage people to tithe. If you have any questions I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!