the shape of leadership

Why Churches Need to Switch to Online Giving Now

With a digital giving solution, your members can give anytime, anywhere

Dean Sweetman on April 30, 2020

While the world is in a panic, the Church is called to be a sturdy rock of peacefulness. The apostle Paul urged the Ephesian church to “keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

During a time when world governments advise us not to assemble, churches face an existential threat. If you are an analog church in a COVID-19 world, you are in an adapt-to-survive situation. If people stay home on Sundays, many churches across the nation may shut their doors in a matter of months.

Digital church giving revolutionizes what the church can do during the outbreak. Churches that embrace mobile giving technology will be in a better position to bring real hope, connection and light into the homes of every attendee during this time that feels so dark for many.

Let me explain how.

Anywhere, Anytime Giving

Through a business lens, the traditional giving model doesn’t make much sense. Most churches have operated like a business that was open one hour per week. That one hour had to power the other 167 hours of weekly needs.

With a digital giving solution, your members can give anytime, anywhere. Your donors can also give and set up recurring gifts anytime, anywhere.

Our data shows that churches typically increase year-over-year contributions 167% after switching to a digital giving model.

Imagine if God actually grew your church’s generosity during this season through your act of faith in adopting this revolutionary digital tool.

Recurring Donations

People want to give to your church. There is a myth that people never want to give money. Jesus says giving is a blessing (Acts 20:35). Why wouldn’t people want to do it?

However, digital platforms that enable only one-time gifts require your committed donors to recommit every time they want to donate. That will result in lower donations. Some will forget, and others will rationalize not giving. More importantly, they won’t form the habit of giving.

The more your church leverages digital giving technology, the more you can safely and effectively be all God has called you to be.

The future of church financial growth is the recurring gift feature.

Churches that want to exist in 50 years should implement and market it today — and start using it this weekend.

The dawn of recurring digital giving changed everything. It made tithing a one-time decision by leveraging technology — in a sense, automating the discipline of giving.

Mobile Commerce

Amazon and Uber changed the market mentality to mobile commerce. Yet churches can be skittish about digital giving. Tithing is a serious thing, and we don’t want to cheapen it by using an untested tool.

Like holding on to a brittle branch while climbing a steep mountain, the feel of cash and checks can give us a false sense of safety. Nevertheless, businesses with a lot of cash have made it by fully embracing the tools of digital commerce.

The marketplace has already done the work of making your church members feel comfortable doing serious business on their phones. People trust apps for all kinds of transactions. They use them for banking, managing investment portfolios, checking on the safety of their kids, and even making wedding and funeral arrangements.

Many people today don’t want to bring a cash envelope to church. They don’t want to write a check. They want to enter their credit card information once, hit a button that automates giving, and forget about it. Anything more reduces the likelihood of congregational buy-in.

Your congregation loves using apps to do serious things. As a church, you should be providing congregants the opportunity to do serious business with God through an app that takes the hassle out of giving.

Coming Together

Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to give up meeting together, but to encourage one another. It’s interesting that the author of Hebrews associates assembling with encouragement.

Church leaders, as you virtually gather your congregations together each Sunday or whenever you meet, remember that the Spirit’s bond of peace is what brings you into unity. That unity continues throughout the week as you speak kind words, deliver meals, help the vulnerable and offer prayers.

Giving enables the continuation of ministry and the encouragement of your congregation and community in the Lord. Even though people are staying home, the kingdom of God is advancing through the power of the Spirit.

The more your church leverages digital giving technology, the more you can safely and effectively be all God has called you to be in a world that desperately needs Jesus.

This article is part of a special COVID-19 supplement appearing in the May/June 2020 edition of Influence magazine.

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