The “Offering Moment”

I have figured that in my lifetime I have experienced over 6,500 worship services. This means that I have been a part of over 6,500 offering moments.  Some of these offering moments have been quite memorable and encouraging and worshipful.  However, most of them seem to be quite boring and awkward.  In some ways the offering may feel more like a break to collect a toll rather than a time to worship and give back to God.

The offering moment doesn’t have to be this way. It is too important to be a break in the service. It is too sacred to be used as a manipulation tool. It is too life changing to be a payment for services rendered. The offering moment should be planned and coordinated just like every aspect of the worship service.  The reason it is important, sacred and life changing is it’s a stewardship moment for the church and its pastor to teach the congregation about the heart of giving and the heart of God.

I think the goal of every church is (and should be) to move its members from a passive observer to an active participant in the offering moment.  We want our people to have a heart of worship through giving like the widow who gave all she had as an act of worship to God and trust in God.  We want them to experience the blessings of giving back to a God who gave so much to us. We want them to move along in their discipleship journey.

So the question is how can we move the offering moment from being an add on and awkward moment to an opportunity for believers to worship God and grow in their faith?  There may be other ways but I think it begins with the leadership and how we talk about the offering moment with our congregation. 

Here are a couple of suggestions on how to talk about the offering moment…

First, it is very beneficial to be clear and transparent on what the money is being spent for. Those who are new to the faith or new to your church or even those who have attended for a while may be skeptical about giving money to a church when they don’t know what it is going for.  Sometimes leadership can be too vague on how money is being spent.  One way to help with this is to take time during the offering moment to share a specific cause or causes the money is going to.  People want to know and we ought to share it with them.  The more they know about the how the money they give is being spent, the more they trust the church and its leadership and the more likely they are to give.  As people learn to give from a heart of worship, they grow in their faith and move closer to God.

Another way to help move people along in their giving journey in the offering moment is to communicate with them the impact the giving is having on people’s lives.  The church should purposefully talk about how the church’s giving is changing lives and bringing people to God.  Give real examples. There is nothing that moves people more to give than when they see the impact of their giving. 

Remember this is not about manipulating people to give. It is not about reaching budget goals.  This is about bringing people closer to the Lord.  It is about teaching people how we give and why we give. Let’s not let the offering moments be dull and awkward any longer. Plan them.  Use them as stewardship and discipleship opportunities. Communicate often on how the money is being spent and the impact it is having. The better the church plans the offering moment and communicates clearly in it, the more impact it will have in people’s lives.

This article was previously posted in the February/March 2022 edition of ONE Magazine.