A couple of weeks ago, Clint Ellis shared a phenomenal post about a tool his church uses called “Missions Moment.”
I wanted to follow up on that idea and share three tips on how to connect the tithes and offerings placed in the offering plate (or box, or online giving portal) with helping to fulfill the Great Commission.
Share ways your church is reaching out to the community
We often talk about how our offerings are used outside our local community (and that is important – more on that in just a bit). But it’s also important to share about ways your church is reaching your local community. Maybe you have some testimonies from a local outreach event or service project. Share those.
Did you have a student accept Christ at youth camp, or a child come to know Jesus as Savior during VBS? Share those stories.
We’ll often talk a lot about events before they happen (as well we should), but I don’t think we typically take as much time to share about the impact of those events after they’ve occurred. I think folks really appreciate knowing how their tithes and offerings are reaching their local community.
Share ways tithes and offerings are being used outside the local community
For this, I did something very similar to what Clint described. We typically would begin our service with a worship song, then I would have a brief time of welcome and announcements. At the end of this time, I would take a couple of minutes and focus on a missionary supported through the Cooperative Program (or the Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon and state missions offerings during those emphasis times).
Most weeks, I would use a fantastic tool the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee put together called CP Stories. Each week, this resource features a graphic and a short paragraph highlighting a church plant in North America, an international missionary or a student who was trained at one of the six SBC seminaries. So every week our folks would hear about ways their tithes and offerings were being used to further the kingdom of God and fulfill the Great Commission outside our church’s four walls.
Share ways you’re personally reaching out
Pastor, you don’t always need to give specifics, such as names (and, often, you shouldn’t). But you can share stories about how you’re sharing the gospel and discipling others. Are you meeting a young man for coffee every week and helping him grow in his faith? You can share that (even better, have him share about your discipleship relationship). Are you having some ongoing evangelistic conversations with a neighbor? Let your church know and invite them to join you in praying.
This step is important for a couple of reasons. For one, it gives some very tangible examples that help your folks understand what you do during the week as their pastor. It might surprise some of your church members to discover that you don’t spend 60 hours in the office writing sermons. Secondly, it sets the example for what you’d like to reproduce in your church members’ lives. They will know their pastor is actively working to share the gospel and disciple others, and that you can give them some resources and guidance as they seek to do the same.
The folks in our church really appreciated hearing practical ways their tithes and offerings were being used to share the gospel and make disciples both in the local community and around the world. In my experience, these moments were just as – if not even more – effective than the budget sheet they saw each month during the business meeting.
So, pastor, what stories can you share with your folks?
Published April 5, 2022