God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. You will be enriched in every way for your generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us.
2 Corinthians 9.8,11

The way that we communicate about giving is vital to encourage a culture of generosity in our churches. The following advice provides some ideas on how we can all better communicate with our communities about giving generously. This will give us greater confidence in sharing the theology of giving with the mission of God's church in our communities.

Top Tips

Inspire in all types of communication. As well as obvious forms of communication such as letters, in our churches we communicate in lots of ways. When dealing with written communication, think of ways to make it colourful and eye-catching; think about how we can include a message of generosity in our worship; and consider ways you can include some communication about being a generous church on your website or social media.

Look beyond: remember the end point. Shape your message to look beyond the immediate need to what the resource enables - the ultimate end point of all our giving is enabling mission.

Share your story. Talk about the vision of your church, how you serve your community, and what ministries you are proud of. Be as specific as you can - this helps to connect in people's minds what their giving enables, something tangible to them, and inspires us.

Be careful about the language you use. The way we use language shapes our message, influences how the message is received, and influences how the giver responds. The more we move away from transactional language, the more we embed a culture of joy when communicating about giving. There is more advice on this below.

Encourage one another: embed a generous culture. Communication as encourager: as we see gifts in one another and build one another up, we create opportunities for mission as well as embracing a culture of whole-life generosity.

It's not about us: communicate giving as mission. Talking about giving can feel awkward if we look through the lens that directly impacts ourselves, such as clergy stipend. But it's not about us: confidence in talking about giving comes when looking beyond this, it's not about us, it's about enabling mission and acts pointing beyond themselves to the glory of God.

Move from apologetic to joy. We live in a culture where many of us approach the subject of giving in our churches cautiously or even apologetically, for fear of upsetting people. But it doesn't have to be like this. The more we move towards embracing the subject of giving as joyful, a privilege and missional, the more we become more confident in communicating about it.

Don't wait until there's a problem. Generosity is part of our life as a church community, and our vocation as disciples - giving shouldn't just be about addressing an issue or a challenge. Remember that giving is a joyful thing, and by communicating this regularly we better embed a culture of generosity in our community.

Remember to thank people. Gratitude is contagious, it is biblical, and it's in our nature. All Christian giving begins with gratitude, and it is proven that people give more generously when thanked or acknowledged. Thank people annually at the very least, and make sure you share what difference that giving made to the mission of your church. And thank everyone, even those who might not have responded during a giving programme.

Generous Language

The way that we use language when communicating about giving heavily influences the shape of our message, how that message is received, and how an individual responds. The shape of our message also informs the way we approach the subject of giving, and links directly to psychology - as we engage with acts of charitable giving, a part of brain lights up which is connected to happiness and contentment. The more we encourage this by moving away from transactional language, the more we are able to embed a culture of the joy of generosity in our churches. Here are some examples.

Take the collection - Offering

Pay - Give / Gift

Dig further into your pockets - Becoming more generous

Pay the heating bill - Enable our church to be a warm, hospitable environment

Save our church - Help us to resource our mission

I'm not a vicar who often talks about money - It's a joy to see how the generosity of our community has enabled so much missionally

Duty to give - Invited to / encouraged to give

Webinar recording

If you would like some more detail on how we can best communicate about giving, this webinar helps to unpack some of the ideas in our Top Tips.