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Why include the offering in online worship?

It is said that, at its best, giving is an act of worship. During COVID-19, many churches have taken to offering online worship, to retain a pattern of prayer and connect with worshipping communities. In normal practice, the offering is the most visible and tangible expression of our giving as Christian people, and our offering practice should reflect this. On a practical level, including the offering during online worship will help to remind people that resourcing our churches' mission and ministry is vitally important now as it ever has been - and on a discipleship level, allows our Christian communities to continue to offer ourselves as an act of faith and expression of our love of God.

Top Tips on using the offering during online worship

  • Make sure the offering moment is sacred and an act of worship; be focused, prayerful and intentional.
  • Encourage people to give, and allow people to give.
  • Remember to be thankful, for the gifts of God and for the gifts of people to help resource the mission of the church.
  • Be clear with your message, make sure you are explaining what that giving enables. Talk about your church’s vision, and what you are doing missionally to support and serve your community during COVID-19.
  • Allow time for people to give, whether that is space for people to reflect prayerfully on their standing orders, or time for people to make an act of offering at home.
  • For people who don’t currently give by standing order, offer options for people to give easily. Give people ideas as you introduce the service, or the offering – point people towards online donate buttons if you have one on your website, or encourage cash givers to put aside their offering in a ‘giving jar’. Click here for information on how to set up a donate button on your church website, or here for how to create a donate page on A Church Near You.
  • Make use of suggested scripture and offering prayers which are suitable during COVID-19 and connects with online offerings. These can be found below.

The Parish Resources team have created a short video to help introduce the offering during online worship, which can be found by clicking here.

Example offering sentences

Deut 16.17: All shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
Matt 6.19-21: Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Romans 12.1: I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2 Corinthians 9.8: And 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.
Hebrews 13.16: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Example offering prayers

God of grace,
in our time of darkness
you bless us with gifts of light.
We bring these offerings to you -
our gifts at home, our gifts online -
and with them we offer our lives;
that they may be used to serve others,
and give you glory.
We make our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ,
our Lord. Amen.

Lord God,
sustainer, comforter, and redeemer.
We place these gifts into your hands,
from our homes and online;
accept our offerings
as a response to your unfailing love,
that our faithful giving
may bear witness to your generosity,
and your song of hope
may be more widely sung in our time of distress;
we make our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ,
our Lord. Amen.