How to Increase Giving Through Vision  - Leaders.Church

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How to Increase Giving Through Vision 

If I asked you to drive a car to an undisclosed location, without instructions, and blindfolded you but said it was going to be a great ride, would you take me up on that offer? Probably not. You probably would look for a new friend. 

Sadly, this is how many people in the church feel when it comes to giving, especially millennials. Many times, as pastors, we rely on credibility and tradition to maintain and increase our church’s giving.

The problem with that is we are not letting people know where we are going. This reality urges the pastor to ask, “how do I increase giving?” The answer is, you increase giving through vision.

Habakkuk 2:2 (NIV) instructs us, “Write the vision down plainly, so that the runner may run with it.” When we provide a clear vision of where we are going, as opposed to an assumed vision, we allow people to take up their mantle and run with the vision, playing their part.  

In this blog, we’ll look at how to increase giving to your church through clear vision. 

Vision Provides Direction
Vision Provides Perspective
Vision Provides Growth

For example, in the Feasibility Study and Capital Campaign Information case study (from who), it was found that many churches will see an uptick in morale and giving during capital campaigns that are not seen in regular giving patterns. This is because of an increased understanding of the vision. There is something the organization is going towards or fighting for. 

Especially in the case of millennials, vision is imperative. The most recent Deloitte Millennial Survey states, “opinions about motivations and ethics, which had trended up the past two years, retreated dramatically, as did their sense of loyalty.” So, if you are wondering, “Why isn’t our giving growing?” That survey might just give you a little insight. 

This troubling reality impacts the church greatly. The millennial generation has lost their loyalty to the idea of “organization.” Instead they are looking for something clear and credible. Ambiguous asks for giving without a clear vision only further deepens the trench between millennials, Gen Z, and the church. 

We all agree that Scripture is clear about tithing and the importance of teaching on it. So, we must learn to communicate this effectively to reach the next generation and increase the effectiveness of your church through increased regular giving. 

Vision Provides Direction

Direction is required for movement. Otherwise, we are just spinning tires. However, direction without movement is a parked car pointed in the right direction. Vision provides the guidance needed to inspire and cause reflection. When we give a clear vision, the course of the church and the mission of the church becomes more refined. 

In many ways, vision acts as a roadmap for the mission of the church. The mission is the very groundwork, the DNA that God has planted in your heart for the church you pastor.

It is why you are there and why the church exists to operate in your city. Vision provides the direction to achieve that mission. In this case, your mission is to effectively answer the question, “how do I increase giving.”  

Vision acts as a roadmap for the mission of the church. Click To Tweet

 When communicating the vision for direction, here are a few essential tips:

  • Make the vision clear and understandable.

    A wishy-washy vision without real substance will only continue to negatively impact your credibility. People want to follow a leader who knows where they are going and how they are going to lead them there. Remember, if you are leading without anyone following, you are merely going for a walk. 

Make a Vision Roadmap for the next 90 days, six months, one year, five years, and ten years and then apply that directly to how the regular, monthly giving will empower that. By creating benchmarks, or road-signs, you are allowing people to know where they are going with you. They have a point of reference.  

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  • Make the vision easily communicated. 

    If your congregation cannot repeat back to you the mission of the church, how the vision roadmap helps the church achieve this, and how their giving plays an important role, then you haven’t communicated it effectively.

    An easy way to help with this is to take the Vision Roadmap you created and get it into the hands of every member. Make sure you talk about it regularly, and hold special Vision Roadmap lunches every quarter for anyone in the church to attend.

  • Make the vision attainable by communicating the wins.

    Nobody wants to be a part of a losing team, and the fastest way to be a part of a losing team is to have the wrong expectations.

    For example, if part of your vision roadmap is to reach an average attendance of 1,000 families every Sunday by the end of the year, but you only have an average attendance of 250 and don’t have a feasible action plan to reach the 1,000 families goal, then you are set up for failure. 

If the goals and benchmarks in the Vision Roadmap are not attainable, you will lose credibility and giving. It is the fastest way to kill momentum. Instead, choose goals you know you can hit because you have the correct processes in place or a feasible plan to get the right processes in place.   

Then as you hit these benchmarks, the vision becomes real and alive. People can see the actual result of their giving. However, you have to communicate the wins.  

Catch this: success breeds more motivation, which produces more success. When we communicate the wins to our congregations, it will only increase their buy-in. This creates motivation to be a part of the movement of the church, thus creating momentum.  

So, as you ask yourself, “how do I help my congregation to give,” consider the importance of meaningful direction fueled by a healthy vision. By doing this, you get more wins and help your congregation give. People want to be a part of something that is “winning” and making a difference. Why not let it be your church? 

Vision Provides Perspective

Our vision is directly connected to our perspective, and our perspective is how we see the world. Growing up, I was a pastor’s kid, and I always knew I was called into ministry.  

When I was in the children’s church, I thought I was called to be a children’s pastor. Being involved in youth ministry made me feel called to be a youth pastor. Serving on the worship team made me feel called to be a worship pastor. During my time in Bible college, I thought I was called to be a professor.  

Why? Because my perspective only allowed me to have a vision for where I was. I was the most impacted by those specific leaders in those times of my life; thus, I wanted to be just like them. 

Each person in your congregation has a presupposed perspective of the church, the world, the Gospel, God, giving, and pastors; they come in wearing those perspectives, which many times cause their vision to be short-sighted. 

Your job as a leader is to broaden their perspective and open up the road for clear vision. Your church’s giving may not be growing because they can’t see the importance due to cloudy vision from closed-off perspectives.  

When communicating the vision for perspective, here are a couple of essential tips:  

  • Paint with broad strokes. 

    I want to make this clear when looking to increase understanding of direction. It has to be definedHowever, to increase perspective, we have to paint broad strokes that encompass the worlds around us. 

For example, one of the best places to plant a church is somewhere between where a large population of people lives and the geographical area that provides the most jobs to that population. Why? Because people are people of habit and will go to the church that is on their regular route rather than find one that is outside their perimeter of daily travel.  

When communicating the vision of the church, you have to break their perspective out of this perimeter. Allowing people to see a world that needs the hope your church brings causes a rallying effect. It allows for people to rally behind being a part of something bigger than themselves.  

Showing how your church can be a practical difference in your community, city, state, nation, and the world provides an invaluable buy-in because now they can see the vision not halted by a closed-off perspective. 

  • Allow for push back but stay strong.

    In the movie J. Edgar, there is a quote that rings out, “Innovators aren’t often celebrated, not at first.” When you use vision to expand people’s perspectives, there will almost always be some pushback from somewhere.

Going into a new territory is never easy, but it is necessary. Strengthening your resolve in the vision God has given you will attract the right people. A church that is expanding vision will always cause ripples, but the long-term positive impact far outweighs the short-term frustration.  

Having the right people on the bus is more important than just having a full bus. The right people will grab ahold of new perspectives and a clear vision and run with it.  

  • Become a window, then a door.

    At first, we have to allow people to see out the window of broadened perspective and then empower them to walk out the door of vision. Strategically implement what I call PEM: Perspective Enhancing Moments.  

Is there an outreach ministry in your city that is making a difference? Could you bring in for a short 10-15 minute interview in your service or Vision Roadmap lunch? Is there a church-supported, missionary’s story you can share? (While supporting a missionary may be a specific giving agenda, the perspective gained will only enlighten and energize your church.)  

Is there a series of testimony videos you can do from people who have been giving faithfully? These small moments provide an increased perspective. While some of these might be specific, giving agendas, like supporting a missionary, the perspective gained will only enlighten and energize your church. 

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Vision Provides Growth

Vision always provides room for growth. It allows for something to fill out. Much like a coloring book: here are the lines, now color inside them. Vision will enable people to get out of their comfort zone and follow the call of God on their life by supporting the church through giving. 

  • Make time for the personal. 

    I once heard John Maxwell, arguably the most significant leadership guru of our time, talk about how he led one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America.

    He simply told us that he would sit down with a certain number of people every week and talk to them. He would have a set amount of people within the church to meet with as well as a set number of people to meet with that did not go to the church.  

Do not get so busy working in the church that you do not work on the church. There is more than staff meetings, counseling, and sermon prep.  

I recommend a two-pronged approach: 

  • Every week, make a list of 5 people, who do not regularly tithe, that you can sit down with personally for breakfast, lunch, or coffee (just a heads up you should pay) and talk with them. Do not ask them why they do not tithe. Just talk with them about their life, love on them, talk about the vision of the church, what God is speaking to you, and the wins of the church that week.  

After meeting with them, write a handwritten note expressing your gratitude for them grabbing breakfast, lunch, or coffee with you. Be sure to mention how thankful you are that you get to be their pastor. If you do this consistently, you will sit down with 60 members of your church every quarter or 260 members per year who do not currently tithe regularly.  

Nonprofitssource.com states that only 10-25% of the average congregation tithe. If you have a congregation of 400 people and only 10% of them tithe, by sitting with five people a week, you are personally reaching roughly 73% of your congregation that does not tithe every year.  

Keep track of who you meet with and watch the uptick in giving. The power of a personal touch is everything.   

  • Every week, make a list of 2 people who are consistent tithers in your congregation. Then, get breakfast, lunch, or coffee with them, and write the handwritten note. Using the same assumptions above with the percentage of tithers in the church of 400, you would be able to sit down with each regular giver twice every year.  

Also, have an end of the year dinner with all regular givers where you can show them your thanks, the progress the church has made to mission and cast the vision for the next year. This makes them feel valued and “on the inside.” 

Taking this two-pronged approach will dramatically increase your congregation’s trust in you and the vision of the church. This will lead to growth in giving.  

  • Remember patience and consistency.

    When expanding people’s vision, most people will not immediately grasp it. As the leader, you have to exercise patience while simultaneously remaining consistent in your message. If you change the vision because people are not immediately aligning, it will only result in loss of credibility.  

We are dealing with a generation that already lacks trust. So, we do not need to give any more reasons not to trust us, the mission, or vision of the church. Having patience for the process while remaining consistent provides a strong foundation for their spiritual growth and your credibility. 

Having patience with millennials provides a strong foundation for their spiritual growth and your credibility Click To Tweet
  • Help with the practical.

    When we give a vision, we have to be willing to walk alongside people in their growth journey. A lot of times, this is as practical as it is spiritual.  

Nonprofitssouorce.com states that 8 out of ten regular church givers are debt-free. Statistically speaking, if 50% of your church is in debt and only 10-25% of your church gives regularly, your margin of growth is small.  

Proverbs 27:23 (NIV) says, “Be sure to know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.” If your flock is drowning in debt, we can stand beside them and help teach them how to be good stewards of their money.  

By doing this, we are also showing that as an organization, good stewardship of resources is essential. Set up a quarterly class on money management and stewardship. Now, they can be a part of the vision because there is a path for them to walk on financially. 

From the direction to perspective, to growth, vision is a key to increasing the giving and financial competency of your church. As a result, you can start answering your questions of, “how do I increase giving,” and “why isn’t our giving growing?” 


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