Six Keys to Increase Church Giving in 2022

Six Keys to Increase Church Giving in 2022

The Challenge of Pastoral Ministry in 2022

Life is busy. The list of things that need to get done continues to grow. Sometimes it seems like there are never enough hours in a day. And let’s be honest, you’d love to bring on another staff person, but it seems the finances just aren’t there to support it. You feel stuck.

Sound familiar? This is a common sentiment among pastors I’ve talked with.

But what if, instead of spinning your wheels and trying to do it all yourself, you took a step back and focused on a few simple, specific actions to boost giving at your church?

Sometimes when we’re in the middle of a difficult season and we feel overwhelmed by the weight of it all, we don’t have the brain capacity to step back and get perspective and think about the problem differently.

But what if was possible to bring on another staff person, or at least a part-time support person to help carry the load? What if this next season could be about helping you AND your church experience life, and health, and growth?

Are There Ways to Increase Giving At Your Church?

Here’s the thing. I know that God wants to do great things in and through the life of your church.  I also know that that means you need to lead your church well – from a place of rest, not a place of burnout. So, first take a minute to stop and breathe.

And then let’s talk about how to increase giving at your church. Because the solution to your exhaustion might just be sharing the need with your congregation. 

Here are six simple actions you can take to foster generosity and increase donations in your church this year:

1. Begin with prayer

I know this feels a little cliche, but sometimes we get so caught up in our to-do lists and routines that we forget to really connect with God through prayer.

This is the foundation for our ability to lead from a healthy place and grow a healthy church, so spend a moment examining your own prayer life. What does it look like? Is it full of life or stuck in a rut? What kind of example are you setting for your congregation? And are you calling your people to prayer?

When we pray, God listens. Every other thing we do won’t really matter, if we aren’t prioritizing this spiritual practice. 

2. Establish A Vision-Centered Budget

According to the CAF-USA-2019 Giving Report47% of givers would donate more if they knew how their money would be spent.

I say this a lot, but a budget really does build trust in giving.

Your church members want to know that the money they are faithfully giving is going to make a difference. This means first of all having a budget in place. But it also means that the generosity of your church is impacted by how much your budget is mission-focused and vision-centered. 
 
If your budget simply exists to keep the lights of the building on, that’s not very compelling. But if part of your budget is going to make an impact in the lives of others, that’s something that people can get excited about being a part of. 

3. Share the vision

While the very act of having a budget builds trust in giving, and having a vision-centered budget furthers that trust, to truly build excitement, you need to share the vision.

People give to a cause they believe in and feel a part of. God wants cheerful givers, and so do you. When you share the vision on a regular basis, you help people own that vision and get excited about being a part of it.

As Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” If you’re struggling to share the vision of your church or you realize you’re lacking a vision, we have a free resource to help you get clear on what the specific mission and vision of your church is. You can download your free guide here.

4. Celebrate Stories

We are a story-based culture. Stories connect with people and provide clarity. Stories stay with us and stick in our brains.

What does this mean for you and for your church?

 Continually share stories that illustrate what God is doing in and through the generosity of your church. If you have the capability, record video testimonials that showcase God at work! Or invite people on the stage to share how the resources of th church are being used to impact lives.  

5. CALL PEOPLE TO ACTION

This is another important tip pastors need to take to heart.

No, you don’t need to sound salesy. But you do need to call people to action. Bodies at rest, tend to stay at rest. People tend to continue to do what they’ve always done – unless an outside force calls them to something more.

When we are not bold in calling people to give, we communicate a lack of belief in the importance of giving. You help people grow in their faith and in experiencing the blessings of God in their lives when you call people to take action.

6. Make Giving Simple and easy to do

This is also a tip based on human nature. If something is difficult to do, or requires too much time, fewer people will do it. For example, consider creating a two-question survey. You will get more responses than if you asked people to fill out a 20-question survey. 

The same is true for giving at your church. If it is too difficult or takes too much effort, people won’t do it.

Fewer and fewer people carry cash or checks these days. I’m not advocating that you stop passing the plate on Sunday mornings, but it is vital that you think about how to make giving simple and easy to do. Online giving, text-to-give and recurring donations are all ways to make giving simple and painless for your people.

How Do I Set Up Online Giving For My Church?

If you need help making giving simple and accessible, Simplify Give offers the convenience of online giving, with free text-to-give, no monthly usage fees and simple, affordable rates.

What Will The Rest of 2022 Look Like In Your Church?

Only God knows what is in store for your church in the coming months.

But my prayer is that by taking a few simple steps, you are able to lead your church to experience greater generosity, financial health and future growth…AND at the same time reduce the amount of stress in your life.

At Simplify Church, we provide financial guidance and support to help pastors and churches thrive. We’ve helped hundreds of small and growing churches optimize their church finances, and we’d love to do the same for you.

3 Keys to Plan and Execute a Meaningful Easter Sunday 2022 

Simplify Your Easter Planning

Believe it or not, Easter is just around the corner. 

Arguably one of the most impactful Sundays of the year for pastors and churches, it is imperative that we take every opportunity to make the most of it.  Absolutely, we know that God is at work and moving in the hearts of people, but we can take action and do our part to be prepared for what God brings. 

As we head out of the cold months (at least for those of us up here above the Mason Dixon line), it can be hard to think about what’s just ahead in April. But the key to a successful Easter service in 2022 is preparing early AND thinking through how you can meaningfully impact the lives of those who will walk through your church’s doors this Easter. 

Click here to download your 2022 Simplify Easter Planning Checklist.

Why Easter Sunday Matters in 2022

Pastor, let’s be real for a minute. For as long as you’ve been in ministry, you’ve probably heard the adage that Easter Sunday is one of your most important and most impactful Sundays. It’s one of the few times a year you will get a flood of visitors to your church. You need to be prepared and go all out to make it meaningful. 

In fact, you may have heard these messages for so long that it’s become routine. Easter Sunday can easily become just another thing on your never-ending checklist.  

BUT.  

Easter Sunday matters in 2022 because we are living through a massive shift in the way that people think about the church and its relevance to their daily lives. And as the world shifts and attempts to move into some sort of new normalcy, you may even see an even high percentage of visitors this year. People are hurting. People are searching for meaning and a way to make sense of life.  

And while times have changed, the TRUTH of the gospel and the HOPE we have in Jesus has not. 

If Only Planning and Executing a Meaningful Easter Sunday Were That Simple

Knowing that Easter Sunday matters is one thing. Planning and executing a meaningful service or other weekend event is something else entirely. I get it. Planning for Easter Sunday can feel overwhelming, especially if you have a small team and a limited budget. (Or, if you tend to wait until the last minute to plan…as I am often prone to do).  

You don’t want to miss the opportunity to reach more people…but there are only so many hours in a day. That’s why we created the 2022 Simplify Easter Checklist. This checklist will help you plan a meaningful Easter weekend without the overwhelm.  

At Simplify Church we exist to help pastors simplify and grow healthy churches. That’s why we provide education and financial services for small and growing churches. And that’s why we created this checklist. Because we want to partner with you to make Easter 2022 meaningful.  

Download the 2022 Simplify Easter Checklist   

This blog post will walk you through three keys to make Easter 2022 meaningful. The checklist will give you the timeline to make this a reality for your church…regardless of the size of your church or the number of people on your staff. Remember, the more resources you have, the more you can do. But always choose quality over quantity.  

Making Easter 2022 Meaningful

So what can you do to make Easter 2022 a meaningful and impactful weekend for your church?

Establish What Success Looks Like

The very first thing you need to think about is what success would look like for your church. Nope, not anyone else’s church. Yours. 

Without an end goal in mind, we have no way to know where we’re going. Every time you take a road trip, you have a starting point and an end destination in mind. From there, a map will give you the directions on how to get there. 

The same principle applies here. If you establish what a successful Easter weekend will look like, or what you want the end result of the service to be, you can then reverse engineer the steps required to get there.  

What do you want to accomplish with your Easter service? What are your goals?

    • More first-time guests? 
    • To encourage infrequent attendees to become regular attendees? 
    • Salvations? 

Your goals can be anything, but the key is that you come up with a measurable result. If the goal cannot be measured, you have no way to know if you’ve accomplished it. Feelings and perceptions can be dangerous, especially when it comes to leadership. 

Think about the growth engines and the mission of your church. Do your Easter weekend goal(s) align with your church mission and vision? And are they realistic? It’s easy to want to do ALL the things, but with a limited budget and staff, you must be more selective and realistic about what your focus should be.  
 
We want to reach everyone with the message of the gospel, but usually if you’re trying to reach everyone, you’re reaching no one. If instead, you focused on reaching families with young children with your Easter weekend…then you would build your sermon, your promotions, and your activities around that demographic. You could offer a community Easter egg hunt, or have a special kids activity during the main service.  

Once you determine your focus and goals for the weekend, you’ll put together your sermon theme. Everything you plan for the weekend should revolve around this theme and your goals.

Make A Plan

This includes sharing the vision of the goal with your team. Your team may be just you and your wife or it may be a full staff of people, but either way you need to articulate it with someone else.

Side note: by sharing the goal, you may realize more details about the goal you hadn’t considered when working on it by yourself.

Once you’ve shared the end result plan, its time to figure out what you’re willing to do to get there.  This includes preparing a budget and plan.

Now the budget needs to be both monetary and commitment.  This involves how much you are willing to spend on tangibles, but also how much time you’re willing to allocate from yourself and your team.  There will be some involvement that has to occur and you cannot do this alone.

Once you have a plan of action and a team, work together to take bite-sized steps of action towards your goal. The checklist has suggested actions to take the four weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. Feel free to use these actions or create your own timeline and task list to set your church up for success.

Debrief After the Fact

Having a goal is great, and having an easy-to-follow plan will dramatically boost your effectiveness (and reduce the overwhelm you feel), but a true key to growing a healthy church is taking time after the fact to reflect, assess and debrief the weekend.  What went well? What were your key metrics? What can you learn from those numbers? Where did you struggle? And how can you learn from that experience?

Many leaders will tell you that the follow up (and follow through) is often just as important as the task or event itself. Be intentional about looking back with your team once Easter has passed and measure the results.  Find out which parts of your goal you achieved, and in what areas you may have fallen short.

Bonus: Take Time to Rest

I shared with you three keys to help you plan a meaningful Easter Sunday weekend in 2022. But I want to leave you with one last bonus tip to help you grow a healthy church. And that is to make sure you intentionally take time to rest.

It’s easy to let our schedules fill out, and to work hard in support of some very good goals. But one of the most important elements of a healthy leader is the ability to lead from a healthy place. And that involves taking times for rest, especially after a season of extra work. Planning for a big weekend like Easter can take a lot out of you as a pastor. You will need to rest and recharge to be able to maintain and sustain growth for your church.

Have You Downloaded The Simplify Easter Checklist Yet?

If not, here’s another link to the checklist. It will help you avoid last-minute stress and set your church up for maximum impact. 

Whatever you choose to do this Easter, know that we are here to support you in whatever way we can. We understand the challenges that come with doing ministry because we’ve been there. If you’re ready to focus on growing a healthy church, schedule a free discovery call. We’ve helped hundreds of small and growing churches optimize their church finances, and we’d love to do the same for you.

The Foundation of It All

Whatever you plan to do for Easter, we know you will cover everything in prayer. That’s the one part we didn’t mention first, hoping that was a given. The best thing you can do is start praying now for how God will lead your church into the Easter season. While we can make plans ourselves, the best ones are the plans that God lays on your heart.

We’re praying for your Easter service this year and know that God has big things in store for your church if you’re faithful to following His leading.

Product Development Manager

SimplifyChurch is a national leader serving churches and ministries to do ministry better. Our set of tools and services enable churches to manage their finances and administration in a way that does not burden the church with finding their own way.  

 

What we’re looking for  

An individual to lead the growth development of a specific digital product offering to serve our church partners. Each of these products works as a stand-alone option or in conjunction with our other services that enhances the road to ministry success for our ministry partners. This person will be responsible for brand evangelism developing the product base of usage. 

 

What winning looks like  

  • Develop and execute a strategy to build specific product and brand awareness. 
  • Define goals and benchmarks to be used for growth and development  
  • Identify and nurture strategic partnerships to be leveraged for growth of the brand 
  • Gather and analyze partner feedback and data to drive direction and strategies  
  • Assist and manage customer support  
  • Build and maintain a team and relationships with developers and managers  

 

The skills we look for  

  • Self-starter capable of developing personal goals and expectations  
  • Great communicator able to express ideas, strategies and details  
  • Proven track record of leadership and continued leadership development  
  • Proficient with technology and online tools used for collaboration and communication 
  • Flexible to adapt as role and business grows  
  • Team player  
  • Ability to problem solve and think differently to potentially find new answers 
If you’re interested, please send your resume and cover letter with careers@simplifychurch.com with the position title in the subject line.

The Church Giving Detail You Should Be Tracking

If you want to stir the pot in a forum full of pastors just start talking about whether or not a pastor should know the giving details of their church. You’ll watch people take sides faster than a debate on masks in church… (too soon?)  

Regardless of what you’ve been told, it really is in the pastor’s best interest to know the details about their church giving income. 

But, what do I mean by details? 

The pastor needs to know all the sources of income for the local church he is leading. In addition, he needs to know the individuals, entities or church giving units that comprise the deposits in detail. This not only helps people grow spiritually, it also is extremely practical.  For now, we’ll deal with the practicality. 

NUMBER OF CHURCH GIVING UNITS

Let me share a story with you. 

We served a church that had an annual budget of just over $600,000. They had a zero-based budget and set their expenditures up to best utilize the resources available to them. Nothing was excessive or out of the norm, and they also practiced good stewardship by reserving some funds for capital improvement and emergency expenses. 

They were doing everything correctly and setting their church up for long term health and success, right? 

At first glance that appeared to be true. However, in this case, the church was blessed with a donor who gave very graciously to the church – to the tune of $50,000 per quarter.  If you do the math, one-third of the church’s budget was being supported by a single donor. 

While some pastors would absolutely love for that to happen at their church, relying on that income for a significant portion of the budget is dangerous. 

You may be able to guess where this story is headed. 

Unfortunately, that donor stopped giving to the church. No, it wasn’t anything the church did. But two major factors contributed to the change.  First, the gentleman was actually the son of an attender. When his mother died, the son’s relationship with the church changed, and was not as strong without his mother there. Second, the reason he was able to make such a large contribution, was because he was heavily invested in the oil industry. As the industry changed, so did his income.  

Needless to say, that church lost one third of their budget overnight. 

The pastor was aware of the situation and knew how much that donor impacted the church finances, but was still left in a difficult spot. Most of us, in the pastor’s position, probably would have utilized those funds to the extent we could and been grateful while it lasted. However, the issue was not that the funds were being utilized. The issue was that the pastor and the church had no contingency plans in place, in case that source of funding dried up.  

Now why do I tell this story? 

WHY CHURCH GIVING UNITS MATTER

I share this story with you because it speaks directly to WHY it’s important to be aware of income sources for your church. By knowing the number of giving units (and who makes up those giving units) for your local church, you become better prepared and equipped to lead and guide your church fiscally. 

We have worked with countless churches across the country and, in most cases, churches rely completely on the generosity of their donors.  

While that is normal, and ultimately how God structured His church, it does create some potential financial challenges. These financial challenges need to be understood by pastors. 

You already know that there are plenty of barriers to growing a healthy church. At Simplify Church, we just believe church finances shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why we exist to make managing church finances SIMPLE.  

We offer a free course to teach pastors HOW to read and analyze financial reports and we have a free guide that teaches pastors WHICH metrics they should be watching 

CHURCH GIVING UNITS & THE KEY TO CHURCH PLANTING SUCCESS

We work with lots of church plants, and knowing the number of church giving units also matters for church planters. It just looks a little different from an established church in the beginning. I don’t have to tell you that getting a church started and FUNDED can be extremely difficult. One key to success we’ve found for church planters is to have a diversity of funding.    

Diversity of funding is simply having a range of sources that support the financial needs of the church. Far too many churches rely solely on their denomination, or on a single sending church.  Some have one or two that give, and the church relies solely on those benefactors as they seek to become sustainable. 

Unfortunately, in today’s climate, it is very difficult to start and grow a church with limited resources.Many church plants fail. And, for that matter, many small, established churches are closing their doors.

But the common denominator among the church plants and small churches that we see succeeding and growing? They all have a diversity of funding sources. 

For example, a church plant could have one sending church supporting them at $2,000/month. Or they could have 10 churches supporting them at $200 each. Yes, it’s the same amount of monthly income. But the impact is not the same.

By having that amount spread out over 10 churches, you have 10 partners who are supporting you and invested in the work you are doing. Losing one supporting church will hurt, but not nearly as much as losing your sole funding source. Moreover, what are the chances that you could go back to the one church supporting you at $2,000/month and ask for another $1000? More than likely, that church is already maxed out on what they can give to you. 

But what if you went to those 10 churches giving $200 each and asked for $100 more? Chances are that’s a much easier conversation and decision for those churches to make. If each church said yes, then you’ve increased your monthly income by $1,000. 

Now I realize this is a very specific example, but I just want to fully illustrate this concept for you: 

When you are able to diversify your efforts, you multiply the results.

CHURCH GIVING UNITS & PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

Have you ever gone to a bank to request financing for your church?  

One of the first things the bank is going to ask for is a list of your top 10-25 donors. They’ll ask for the donation amounts AND any relationships of those donors.   

Why do they do that? 

Banks are all about mitigating risk. If they’re going to loan money to a church, they want to know that there will be little risk in getting that money repaid. They are very well aware of the risk of being pigeonholed by a closely knit donor base.   

You should be aware as well.  

While you may not be seeking a loan, you should be aware of the risks associated with your church finances.  

Why? Because you CANNOT make accurate financial decisions for the direction of your church without this information.

As pastor, you need to know the giving details of your church. Yes, all the way down to the donor. It’s not about treating anyone differently, it’s about understanding how your church stands financially and being able to make the best decisions, based on accurate information.  

CHURCH GIVING UNITS IN YOUR CHURCH

So let me ask you, what does giving look like in your church? Is your budget supported by a few individuals? Or do you have diversity of funding?

And perhaps more importantly, do you have a system to help you find the data you need to make informed decisions?

If you’re struggling to get this kind of information from your church, then maybe it’s time to take a look at Simplify Church Bookkeeping. Our bookkeeping system is designed specifically FOR CHURCHES, to help you lead and make informed decisions for the health and long-term viability of your church.   If you want to learn more, visit SimplifyChurch.com/getstarted to schedule a free discovery call. 

You owe it to your church to be the best steward of the resources you’ve been entrusted with.

And we’re here to help you do just that!

How to Build A Post-Pandemic Church Budget

annual church budget planning

Building Your Annual Church Budget in a Post-Pandemic World

Before we get too far, I completely understand that the pandemic is officially not over.  I realize that our world is still in a state of confusion and no one really seems to know what’s going on or what will happen next. It unfortunately seems that we’re at a point where we’ve never been more divided as a country. Regardless of your stance on the current issues, I’m sure we can all agree that things are a little bit chaotic right now.

You’re probably experiencing that chaos first hand as you try to continue to lead your local church and meet the needs of people in your congregation and community in these unprecedented times.

If you’re like most pastors, you may feel like you’re hanging on by just a thin thread, but rest assured, your efforts are for a far greater purpose than we see right now.

It's Time to Build Your Annual Church Budget

As we head into a new year (can you believe it?!), it’s time that we discuss your church’s budget for the upcoming calendar year.

In 2021, the finances and financial accounts of many churches were unpredictable to say the least. Your church might have experienced this. And because of this unpredictability, you might be thinking that you have no idea how to budget for 2022 based off the current year.

Here are some considerations to help you start planning for your 2022 church budget.

Assess the Current State of Your Church Budget

In our Church Budget Blueprint Course, one of the first steps we discuss for planning your budget is that you need to know where you are. If you’re looking for directions on your phone, it will always ask you to choose a starting location. It’s virtually impossible to give directions if you don’t know the starting point.

The same is true for budgeting. Because your budget is a plan, it is really hard to chart a course if you don’t know where you’re starting from.

How To Review Your CURRENT Church Budget

Begin by taking a look at this year’s financial reports. While the church finances may have been all over the place, you should be able to get some information about the current financial status of your church.

What do your financial numbers tell you? Has church giving increased, decreased or stayed roughly the same versus last year?

There are a lot of churches that look vastly different than they did in February of 2020.  After months of virtual church services, many congregations are seeing fewer attendees than they did before everything started. At the same time, there are many churches that are seeing new people that they didn’t have prior to the pandemic. By being forced to do ministry differently, many churches are seeing people that may not have otherwise stepped foot inside a church and that is a good thing.

In order to know where to go from here, though, you’ll need to get honest about your current situation.

What questions do you need to ask?

What does your attendance currently look like? Are you seeing the same number of regular attenders each week? Are you seeing the same number of visitors? If you are still offering virtual services, how many people tune into these services regularly? 

What does church giving look like? Do you know your giving per unit and giving per capita?  These two metrics will help assess the health of your church giving. 

Along with church giving, what is your average weekly and monthly amount?  How do those compare to previous years?  

Without a good understanding of these numbers, it will be difficult to accurately plan for the future.  

To be honest, the last 6-9 months are probably a good indicator for your new reality moving forward.  While uncertainty still exists, we must realize that many people have established a new normal for themselves, and decided how they will live and what level of socialization they are comfortable with, at least for the foreseeable future. The people showing up on Sunday mornings and those participating in giving right now are probably the ones you can count on moving forward.

How to Draft a New Church Budget

Now that you know your numbers, and have some understanding of where you are, we can begin to formulate a plan to move forward into 2022.

As you develop your budget, take the numbers you found from the past 6-9 months and use those as a baseline for projected giving trend moving forward. Then take a look at your spending and expenses over that same time period. Is your spending in check or are you spending more than you are bringing in? Do you need to make some adjustments?

Finally, think through what you want for your church in the year ahead. What vision do you have for your congregation? Does your projected spending and budget allocations help move you towards that vision?

Be prepared to drastically change your budget if necessary. Don’t allow yourself to get so tied in how things were done in the past that you neglect an opportunity to pivot. One thing pastors and church leaders have learned over the past few months is how lean some ministries can be. We’ve also had the opportunity to get clear and prioritize what really matters. Perhaps there are some areas of ministry that you don’t need to fund or prioritize moving forward.

Once you’ve thought through these important questions, formulate a church budget plan that will guide you and your church in 2022.

Can you adjust your budget Mid-year?

The great news is that your church budget isn’t set in stone. It is a plan, not a legally binding document. The plan you put in place now can be adjusted as you move forward.  While it’s not something you want to adjust haphazardly or randomly, you should do a quarterly and semi-annual review of your church budget to determine if the plan you put in place is matching up with your current reality.

What if you need help with your church budget?

If church financial planning or developing your church budget is causing you stress, don’t hesitate to ask for help and guidance!
One thing that became evident during the pandemic is that pastors need pastors. Let me suggest two opportunities for you as we head full speed into the new year.

First, if you know you need help, schedule a free discovery call with us. We will talk with you about church financial support options for your church and help you decide what is best for your church. Getting financial help is way more affordable than you think!

Second, consider joining our FB group for pastors we call Oasis. Be connected with other pastors who know what you’re experiencing and are open to real discussions about the joys and hassles of being a pastor. You can be real with us without fear of losing your “pastor card.” 

Regardless of your next steps, be sure to take the time now to plan for 2022.  How you plan now will determine the trajectory of ministry going into the new year. One thing is certain, time will continue moving forward. It’s up to you to determine what you do with what you have been entrusted with. The old adage is still true, people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. While plans are never a guarantee of success, and you may need to make some pivots along the way, you will never get to where you want to go without a plan in place.

Here’s to building a great church budget plan and seeing your church thrive in 2022!

Optimize Your Budget for Growth [Webinar Replay]

church financial management

Take a few minutes and watch the video below to see a replay of our webinar, Optimize Your Church Budget for Growth.

In this 35 minute presentation we discuss what you need to know as a pastor or church leader to optimize your church’s budget for ministry growth.

After you’ve had a chance to watch the replay, head on over to SimplifyChurch.com/church-budget-training/ to get immedate access to our Church Budget Builder Course.

In the course we’ll walk you step by step through everything you’ll need to build a budget for your church that will help grow your ministry.

Your budget is just a tool or a plan to help you best steward the resources God has entrusted to your church.  Make sure you’re doing the best job you can with the resources by planning effectively and this course will help you do just that.

Quickbooks Backup

Use the video below to see instructions on how to send us a backup copy of your Quickbooks Desktop file.

Here are the steps.

Open your Company Quickbooks file on your local computer.

Click on File > Create Copy

Choose Local copy and select a location to save the file.

Once complete, the file will be saved in the location you setup for it to save. Your Welcome Team contact will send you an invitation to a folder where you can upload that file to us.

We’ll take care of things from there and let you know if we have any questions.

Thanks for choosing to be a Church Partner with SimplifyChurch.com. We’re excited to partner with you to take care of the bookkeeping and accounting for church.

Three Simple Steps to Survive the 2021 Church Giving Slump

church bookkeeping service

A 2021 Church Giving Slump??

I’m calling it. I predict that churches in the summer of 2021 will see a giving slump that surpasses many previous year’s slumps. 

Traditionally, churches see a dip in giving during the summer months. We have discussed summer giving slumps before, but this summer has the makings to be much different. 

Why? 

Well, we’re looking at a summer where many people, for the first time in over a year, feel comfortable traveling outside their local community.  

With a global pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and travel restrictions put in place, vacations and traveling were out of the question for many people. In fact, air travel in 2020 was down 60% compared with 2019 numbers.  

With precautions starting to relax in the last weeks and months, domestic travel, at least, has become more feasible and desirable. More people feel comfortable traveling and seeing extended family members. Many are now seeing opportunities to make up for lost time and take those vacations they had previously been unable to schedule. 

In other words, now that people can travel again, you can bet they are going to do just that.

So what does that mean for churches?  

More than likely, we’re going to see giving decrease as people use some of that discretionary income or their vacation savings to now take that vacation they had been putting off. More people have dealt with anxiety, stress and burnout in the last year and they are looking for a chance to get away and just relax and unwind. 

The good news is that a potential giving slump doesn’t have to blindside your church or leave you struggling to pay the bills.  

As a pastor, here are three simple steps you can take to prepare your ministry to survive the upcoming slump.  

1. Don’t hide from the church giving slump; talk about the importance of tithing and giving to your local church 

If you’re struggling to figure out how to talk about it, you can check out this article and this one. Many churches that have giving issues or struggle with revenue, sometimes have a problem because they don’t make generosity part of their DNA.  Don’t make talking about money taboo in your church.   

Talk about it, all the time. And when you think you’ve said it enough, talk more. 

Giving is a spiritual discipline much like prayer, bible study, discipleship and worship.  People that take issue with pastors talking about giving, more than likely haven’t developed this spiritual discipline or fail to understand why giving matters.   

Heading into this summer, be bold to talk about giving.  Proclaim with boldness the value of being faithful to those things that God has called us to and make people understand that the next step in their relationship with Jesus is following the things He has commanded. 

Preach boldly and unapologetically about giving. You’re called to shepherd people; this is part of their spiritual growth. 

If you are looking for additional resources for how to talk about giving or struggling to figure out how to make generosity a part of your church’s DNA, we’ve created a free guide to walk you through the process. You can access it here

2. Manage the church giving slump by looking at expenses and managing cash flow  

Practically speaking, one thing you can do to combat the giving slump is to better manage your cash flow.  

There is a common business adage that says if you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your business. 

The same is true for your church. If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know the health of your church. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But I’m the pastor. I just shepherd people and let someone else manage the money. Church finances are not my responsibility.” 

You’re partially right. Should you be responsible for paying the bills and tracking income for the church? Probably not.  

BUT… 

If you are the leader of the church, you absolutely should understand where your church stands financially.  Finances are a very real part of the health of your church. And the truth is your church could be headed for very real financial trouble if you don’t take steps to correct the problem. And how do you know if your church has financial issues? You have to know your numbers. Additionally, if you don’t know the financial health of your church, it’s much more difficult to make wise financial decisions and lead and grow the church. 

At a minimum, you need to know what your average monthly giving amount is.  Along with that, there are several other metrics you as pastor need to know. We discuss them in this post here. By knowing those numbers, you can better lead the church and know the financial health of your organization. 

When you know your numbers, you’ll be able to identify trends and have an idea of areas where spending is required, and perhaps things that can be turned off or delayed until cash is in a better situation. 

A practical step here is to look at your monthly expenses. Are there any discretionary expenses or subscriptions that maybe can be turned off or cancelled all together to save some money?  This will help with cash flow during an income slump. 

Still feeling stuck with exactly what you need know about church finances as the pastor? Download our free guide where we walk you through the five financial metrics every pastor needs to know. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a numbers person to understand. We’re all about S-I-M-P-L-E. We walk you through exactly which metrics you as pastor need to be aware of, why these numbers matter and how you can get easily find and review these numbers so that you can more effectively lead and grow your church. If the thought of finances and budgeting makes you cringe a little inside, this FREE guide will give you greater clarity and confidence in your ability to steward the financial resources of your church. 

3. Minimize the church giving slump by utilizing online giving  

Okay, this is probably obvious, but if your church does not offer an online giving option, you are preventing some people from being able to give to your church. Online giving is an opportunity for your congregation to participate in the act of worship through giving. 

This may sound a little harsh, but a resounding percentage of people (especially the younger generation) prefer to make electronic donations. Yes, some people still carry cash or checks with them, but more and more people do not. Let’s be honest, some don’t even own a checkbook! 

There was a time when an argument could be made against giving electronically for the reasons of potentially encouraging debt, or the other arguments that could be made.  However, our economies have shifted, and more money is transferring electronically now than ever.   

If you are not providing an electronic giving option, besides the fact that you are preventing some people from being able to give, you’re missing out the full income potential of your church. It’s true. You could be losing out on money every month. Numerous studies have shown that adding a digital giving option can increase donations between 20-35%! 

We recommend SimplifyGive, our online giving solution created with small and growing churches in mind. SimplifyGive is focused on keeping costs down, so that more money from each gift comes to the church for ministry. At the same time, it offers you easy-to-access valuable church giving metrics, so that you can better lead and grow your church.  

SURVIVING THE 2021 CHURCH GIVING SLUMP…MADE SIMPLE 

This summer of 2021 is an exciting time for many people in the United States. After over a year of staying home, there is a strong desire to travel and to engage in activities that were postponed or unavailable for a while. But the flip side of this excitement is that engagement with and giving to church might not be at the forefront of people’s minds. Churches can and should prepare for a potential decline in giving.   

But if you’re prepared for and aware of this potential, your church will be able to endure the season and come out on the other end equipped to finish the ministry year strong. 

If you’d like to know more about how you can better manage your church finances or have a team of church finance experts available to you to help navigate the ups and downs of church finances (at a price that’s affordable for small and growing churches), schedule a discovery call with Simplify Church. We’d be happy to show you how we serve local churches across the country, enabling them to better focus on ministry and reach more people for Christ.  

ChurchShield Payroll Update Webinar – Replay

SimplifyChurch.com Affiliate Program

Payroll Webinar Replay

Take a few minutes to review the replay of our webinar detailing the latest news from our payroll partner, ChurchShield.  They are now offering three service options to help better customize to the needs of your church.

Your options for service will be: 
Full Service – similar to the service your receiving now

Self-Service with Review – your church will process the payroll, but our team and the software are available to review and help as necessary.

Self-Service – your church has full control and responsibility for the payroll processing.  Our team will help with the setup and training, but the ongoing payroll processing will be up to the church.

Whichever option you chose, we’ll be here in an ongoing basis to help and consult your church to make sure you’re successful in this process.

2021 ChurchShield Payroll Update

Take a look at the short video we put together to share an update from our partners at ChurchShield and some recent updates they have in regards to their pricing.  The video should explain the update, how this will affect your church and the options available to you through the process.

Also, Join us Wednesday March 31, 2021 at 11am CST for a webinar where we’ll discuss the update as well and provide a time for Q&A.  Kristin Oeschle from ChurchShield will be joining us as well to give some insight and answer any questions you may have.

Below is the link to register for that webinar. 

If you have immediate questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Account Manager or Josh.

 

Thanks for continuing to be a valued partner as we serve the Lord together.

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It’s time to change the way we talk about giving in church!