Believe it or not, Summer is right around the corner. Spring is here bringing sunshine, outdoor activities, green grass and allergies.
For churches, summer times means an increase in children’s and student ministry opportunities since kids are out of school. Unfortunately, it also brings family vacations and a significant decrease in church giving. We all know that there is a slump of summer church giving.
I’ve written previously about how to prepare for the Summer giving lull but here is a quick read on a few simple steps you can take now.
Here are three simple setups you can take now to be ahead of the summer giving lull.
1. Analyze expenses
Get your last couple bank statements. Are there expenses that were let’s say… less than necessary? I’m not here to question anything, but it’s a good place to start.
For many pastors, taking people out to lunch or dinner has become the norm. Perhaps reduce that frequency or opt for coffee instead.
Are there any subscriptions you pay that are not necessary? Anything you can save will help get over the giving shortage.
Most churches are very frugal to begin with so this may not be a big area but it’s worth considering.
2. Avoid or Put Off Big Purchases, Renovations
I’m reading a book currently where the author is talking about tracking expenses and finding ways to save for your company. One story he expressed was when riding with a business partner in the car.
His first day in town, there were some electrical things in the office that weren’t pressing but could be fixed. As they passed the hardware store he asked his partner if they should stop in and get the parts. The response from his business partner was “We’ll wait until tomorrow.”
Tomorrow came and as they passed the same hardware store he got the same response.
On his last day in town, 5 days later, and after they’d passed that same hardware store with the same response he couldn’t take it anymore and had to ask. He wondered why his partner kept putting off the stop. His partners response was something we could all put to practice.
His business partner replied and told him it was a game he was playing with himself. Since the fix was not dire, or dangerous, he kept passing the store saying the same thing to see how many days he could live without making the purchase. The longer he went, the less important making that minor fix became and he saved that small amount of money.
What areas in your ministry can you “wait until tomorrow”?
We’re all guilty of falling victim to the tyranny of the urgency or wanting the new shiny stuff now. I have to check myself on this almost daily.
Can you find 3 or 4 things that you could challenge yourself to wait until tomorrow?
3. Communicate With Your Church
Giving is one of those areas that make pastors sweat.
I get it, talking about money has become a taboo subject in our society and the church has definitely received a bad rep for that.
As pastor, this is just an area where you need to step up and lead.
Giving is one of those areas of spiritual development that is often the biggest hurdle for growth in our relationship with Christ. As pastors, we need to be the encourager.
I’ve already written in several areas on this topic and I think we can already agree on the importance of the giving talk (perhaps begrudgingly by some )
But as we come into summer, it’s important to express so that people know the importance of their continued faithfulness. Most people sitting in the pews won’t realize that summer is a slow giving time for churches.
Be open and honest to let people know that while you realize that vacations and other expenses are pressing for the paychecks, it is crucial that people remain faithful.
Talk about it, it will go a long way.
What are your suggestions? What things have you put into place to prepare for the summer giving lull?
Comment below so we can all benefit from your ideas.