Let’s be real about something: For many of our churches, giving during the Christmas season is vital to the financial health of our church.
We rely on end-of-year giving to sustain our church during months of the year when giving is less consistent.
And yet, if I had to guess, your church probably doesn’t talk about it much.
I’d like to challenge you to start doing so.
In fact, you should have a clear strategy and plan for Christmas giving.
Here’s why: Many people desire to give during the Christmas season, both for altruistic and tax reasons.
They’re looking for places to give that are easy and fit their values.
We miss a huge opening if we don’t provide a clear and compelling opportunity for our church attenders to give extra during the Christmas season.
So, here’s a strategy you might consider using.
Tell Your People that You Need Their Gifts
Be honest with your church.
Tell your congregation that your church relies on the extra giving that comes in during the Christmas season.
Tell them that money helps sustain the church through lower giving months, like summer.
I would argue that one of the reasons your attenders give to other organizations during the Christmas season rather than your church is they mistakenly believe your church doesn’t need their gifts.
It is fair and wise to share with them you do!
Pick a Specific Date
I believe there is wisdom in picking a specific date for Christmas giving.
It might be smart to make this an ongoing practice and communicate something like this:
“Every year we set aside a specific weekend for Christmas giving. This year it’s December 13.”
If you give your people a few weeks of advanced notice, you’ll provide them time to consider, plan, and pray.
Invite Your People to Give Extra
Many people are interested in giving over the holidays, either for the first time or beyond what they typically give.
I would encourage you to speak directly to this.
We use language like, “over and above your normal giving” or “an extra gift.”
People often desire to be generous, especially around the holidays. Invite them into the journey of generosity.
A small step of sacrificial giving during the holidays can be a very meaningful act of faith for the families of your church.
Model Generosity by Attaching the Special Gift to a Special Project
We’ve found it helpful to attach a special project to our Christmas giving.
“An added joy to giving above and beyond what you normally do is that we’ll be able to bless a ministry partner.”
We’ve found a partnership like this to be motivational and also a great way to model generosity.
Communicate the Plan
Lastly, communicate the plan clearly and regularly to your congregation.
Here’s an example of what I might say to our congregation about our special Christmas offering.
Feel free to critique, borrow, or steal:
Every year we set aside a particular weekend for our Christmas giving. This year, the weekend we have chosen is Dec. 13. This is a weekend where we encourage those of you who call our church home to consider bringing a special gift for your church that is over and above what you usually give.
I need you to know that this over and above gift is important for our church. We rely on our Christmas giving to remain financially healthy and stable, especially during the summer months when our giving is less consistent. This year we also desire to use a portion of our Christmas giving to bless a wonderful local ministry in our area. Your gift will help us to provide XYZ for XYZ ministry.
And so, I ask that you and your family prayerfully consider what you might be able to bring for our Christmas offering. I want to thank you in advance for your generosity. We look forward to what God will do in and through our church with this special offering.
For many of our churches, giving at Christmas matters to our financial stability and health.
It’s important that we have a clear strategy to communicate the importance to our church attenders so we can maximize Christmas giving in our church.
I hope this has been helpful.
If you have other thoughts or ideas, please feel free to share them below.