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Communicating about Generous Giving

Advice and ideas on how to communicate about giving and embedding a lifelong culture of generosity in our church communities

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 get to the heart of generosity and encourage a culture change 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.

Inspire in all types of communication

Think about ways in which you can make your communication about being a church that lives generously as colourful, personable and eye-catching as possible; including on your website or social media. Also, think about how to include a message of generosity in your worship. Being prayerful and asking the Holy Spirit to help giving be a joyful thing, can better embed a culture of generosity in our communities. Communicate this regularly.

Look beyond the immediate – focus on the aim

Shape your message to look beyond the immediate need to what required resource enables. The ultimate aim of all our giving is enabling mission and embedding a culture of generosity in our churches, where space is created to invest in people, not principles.

Don’t wait until there’s a problem

Living generously is part of our life as a church community, and our vocation as Christ’s disciples. While acknowledging that good stewardship of money is vital, giving shouldn’t just be about addressing an issue or a challenge. 

Share your story 

Describe the vision of your parish, how you come alongside your community, and what ministries have really had a positive impact. Tell of how there is a wealth of skills, experience and desires to be shared to support others to flourish. Be as specific as you can – this helps to connect in people’s minds what their giving enables, something tangible to them, and inspiring.

Encourage one another to embed a generous culture

Be an encouraging church through how you communicate.  We create opportunities for mission, as well as embracing a culture of whole-life generosity, when we regularly acknowledge the gifts in one another and build each another up.

Communicate how giving enables God’s kingdom to grow 

Talking about giving can feel awkward if we look through the lens that directly impacts ourselves, such as clergy stipend. But generosity is not all about us. We become more confident when we talk regularly about giving and we look beyond a transactional exchange to an acknowledgement that giving enables mission to grow and points to sharing in God’s blessings and abundance.

Move from being apologetic to joyful

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.

Think carefully about the words you use

The way we use language shapes our message, influences how the message is received and how the giver responds. The more we move away from transactional (just paying for services) language, the more we embed a culture of joy and excitement when communicating about giving in gratitude for all God’s gifts to us. There is more guidance on phrasing below.

Remember to always thank people 

Gratitude is contagious, it is biblical, and it’s in our nature. All Christian giving begins with thanksgiving, and it is proven that people give more generously when thanked or acknowledged. Make sure you share what difference the giving made to the mission of your church community. 

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. Did you know, as we engage with acts of charitable giving a part of our brain lights up, which is connected to happiness and contentment. The more we encourage this by moving away from transactional language, the more we see how enhances other people’s lives are. Giving out of a heart of love to embed a culture of the joy of generosity in our church communities.

 Here are some examples of how we phrase our language:

Take the collectionReceive an offering
We are going to payWe are going to give / gift
Your churchOur church
Dig further into your pocketsBecoming more generous
Pay the heating billEnable our church to be a warm, welcoming environment
Save our churchHelp us to resource our mission
 I’m not a vicar who often talks about moneyIt’s a joy to see how the generosity of our community has made such a positive impact. Let’s encourage one another to keep the joy of giving because, together, we are reflecting God’s generosity in our communities.
Duty to giveInvited / encouraged to give