Is There Help?
A recent USA Today article addressed statistics from LifeWay Research indicating that the economic health of churches is suffering. The article sites decisions to of many churches to lay off staff members, put off capital projects and cut programs. All the while, members and neighbors of congregations are increasingly requesting help for their basic needs.
Dropping contributions are bad enough, but a restriction on the level of care that churches are able to give to others affects the mission of many congregations.
It might help for church leaders to take a cue from the business environment. When a business faces dwindling revenue, management often turns to new marketing strategies to help revive the company. Often, there is a cost involved with this kind of program, but a well thought out plan will pay for itself in revenue.
Can churches benefit from this business model? When faced with less money, churches sometimes decide to cut their envelope program; the very tool used to gather needed tithes and offerings. Rather than cut it out, it might be beneficial to evaluate the envelope program and develop ways to make it a stronger, more enticing marketing tool.
Statistics indicate that people are inclined to support ministries that directly help people in need. Is your church involved in a local food ministry? You can keep this ministry alive by providing members and guests with Special Offering Envelopes that address this need directly. The envelope can be customized to address one or many ministry needs of the church.
Include your ministries as part of a larger plan to consistently inform people of how your church meets the needs of people around it. A church newsletter can report on contributions made, and show specifically how the membership’s generosity serves to help people and spread the Good News of Jesus.
These tough economic times can be the best time to improve communication and work toward sustained giving from members and guests of your church. Isn’t it in the valley, rather than on the mountaintop, where we can best see our way up?
Your friends at AmericanChurch, Inc. are here to help your church through difficult times and reach your full ministry potential. We offer solutions in giving, in communication and in developing a vibrant church community. Tell us your needs and your struggles so that together, we can help you develop a plan that serves your church and those you serve.
To read the article in USAToday click here.