In this episode, Vance and Zoe converse about making the giving moment in church more meaningful and effective. It explores fresh ways to talk about tithing, steering clear of clichéd Bible verses, and how to avoid making it feel like a 'panhandling' situation, while also offering practical tips for church planters on building trust with their congregation.
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We're not trying to make the giving moment of Pan handling, where it's like desperate like please give to us. Oh, we need to pay off debt. Oh my goodness, please like to keep the lights on. Nobody gives to desperation, right? People give to invitation. People get to vision. People get to first principle. Yeah, that's what you're trying to do. A pastor term tech leader and a millennial churchgoer explores the intersection of technology, culture and faith, equipping you with innovative strategies to support you as you live out your calling leader churches with confidence to step into the future together. This is the give it up podcast. Vance. So the giving moment in churches is a very important moment. I think. So for services, yes. But in my own experience, I'm sure in yours as well. You've seen a lot of those moments fall flat or too long. This is not the sermon yet, people. This is not supposed to be 10 minutes, this is definitely not supposed to be 20 minutes, maybe two. And people don't realize the power that's in it. Because when you're saying something every single week, it can feel mundane, right? And so I want to talk today about how we can make giving moments in the middle of a message most effective. I love that maximize a moment. Yes, I think it's really important. I think it's really important to understand the purpose of the giving moment. Yeah, we actually learned the gravity of this moment, several years ago when we did a little experiment. Okay, we read the blessed life by Robert Morris, shout out to Gateway Church, phenomenal church, very financial church, okay, the blessed life is that book, that book that if you didn't believe in the time, before, you probably will, after reading that book, you'll want to live a generous life and, and it's a phenomenal book, obviously Pastor Robert Morris, a legend amongst legend in that book, he would go on to share the philosophy of Gateway Church and how they facilitate generosity. And we feel so convicted, because at Gateway Church and Texas, they don't actually do a moment where they pass buckets, or were they actually prompt giving in service. Oh, wow. You know, because they want to give no reason for people to maybe be offended or something to that nature, right. And we felt so convicted. Instead, what they do is they do giving kiosks, at the back of the church in in the lobby, where if you gotta get a church, you know, especially if you read the book, The Power of the tie, then you can go ahead and do that on your way out or on your way in. And so, you know, what? Scrap the giving moment, take it out of the run sheet, five more minutes for worship. Let's go. And we're so pumped. I remember a clearly we did this experiment, this summer of I want to say 2016. Okay. And that August, specifically, we ran this experiment. And we usually do a month over month kind of comparison report are giving for that August for that experiment. Beloved, it plummeted like it almost like, you know, like the at the doctor's office with a pulse. Yeah. And there's a it was almost, it was almost dead. And we're like, bring the given moment, but Oh, my five minutes seven, well, whatever it needs, like, we're talking about giving every service. Yeah, for the rest of our church. Wow. You know, and so, you know, I'm not saying that that strategy at Gateway Church doesn't work, maybe it's a different context. Maybe in Texas, they just type, maybe Texas, people are tired, it's in their blood automatically. But people in the Silicon Valley, they need a reminder. They need a refresher. They need some theology around the time, the giving. And you know, this is what we learned is that it was very simple. Actually, it didn't need to be seven minutes, it didn't be 10 minutes. It's a couple of minutes that we have in service where we prompt giving where we remind people to honor God with their time. And it actually serves as a sacred moment within the service for us to worship together and are giving. And a lot of times it's actually not based on the quality or even the content of the sermon net, that the host is giving the campus pastor is giving the executive pastor is giving the CFO is giving. No it's actually more about how clear the message and the direction is. And so you don't actually have to be so intimidated by giving this crazy elaborate teaching on the top. Here's the facts. You're not going to convince somebody to tie the two minutes. I'm sorry, you're probably not even going to convince somebody to tie than 10 minutes to give 10% of your income. And you haven't been doing that before is a massive step. Sure. People need to be discipled. In that step people come into the revelation of the Thai through small groups through next steps. Through walking with other disciples, through walking with other people of the way that had been practicing this lifestyle that had been practicing this tradition is powerful principle in the book, it's not going to happen in two minutes, not going to happen in 10 minutes. So what is your job, your job is not to get that person far from Jesus, to convince them to tie on that Sunday service, your job is to orient the saints, to orient the people that already are followers of the way to orient the people that are members at your church, and simply encourage them on the time. And the remind them the ways to give is actually a lot more logistical than people think. Because a lot of times what you're speaking to is somebody that already believes in the time, but just need simple instruction, because maybe they practice a Tod once a month. Max, maybe they practice it twice a month, the 15th and the 30th. Maybe they're a real estate agent, maybe they practice, practice the time, twice a year. And so people drift, people leak people forget. And so more than trying to do this elaborate sermonette I would actually really rehearse and practice how you're going to talk about how to give the ways to give the ways they can be unlimited in their generosity and practice. Things like the top but we're gonna go into how I personally prep a given message and how many people at our church prep a given message. You want to keep it concise, and compelling, right? This is not the time to tell life stories. This is not the time to get all cute. It's all about being clear, and being compelling. So let's do let's do a layup. How about that? Let's do a little layup. listening to the audio. XO did a horrible rendition of a layup she actually did a fade away. She did a fade away like bank shot sorry, I'm not a baller Vance. Proverbs three nine says, Honor the Lord with your wealth. And with the best part of everything you produce, then He will fill your barns with grain and your vats will overflow shout out with good wine, Proverbs three, nine and 10 NLT version if you're looking for a giving moment message, what a great verse. Yeah, this is a great verse definitely to adopt. There's so much you can say in this verse. There's so much you can do to encourage the church in this verse. I shared this recently with our church during a given moment. And I wanted to highlight it's good if you're going to teach the time to build a little tension. I mean, with any one of communication, right? building tension is good. Don't want people to like stand up. You don't want people to kind of snooze off you want, you know, to have inflection in your voice. You want to be able to engage in audience. One way to engage an audience a good story has good tension. Sure, right. And the tension here that I find you want to if you're going to communicate anything from the Bible, you want to try to find the tension, just want to tension and above there's a lot of backwards economics in the Bible. The last shall be first was first shall be last name. So exactly. That means I'm going to be first there you go and have it. Yes, but not in school attendance row deadlines. The tension in Proverbs three, nine, and 10 is that oftentimes As believers, we actually are waiting for the overflow first, before we honor the Lord with our wealth. Yeah, we read the verse backwards. But proverbs three, nine and 10 doesn't read Proverbs 310 and nine. It reads in a sequence, it reads in an order for a reason. No, no, no honor the Lord first. Yeah, Honor the Lord with your best. Honor the Lord with the best part of everything you produce, then then see, the byproduct of honoring the Lord is He will fill your barns with grain and your vats will overflow with good wine. And so it's a simple encouragement. I'm bringing a biblical truth. I'm bringing a biblical principle. I'm drawing attention. I'm bringing a little bit of relief, because the conclusion is really great. Sure, I want to live a life of overflow. Yeah, I want to honor the Lord. And if the Bible says, Then I will live a life of overflow. I want to do that. Okay, how do we do that church, there's so many ways to participate in the type of giving your best to God. And the ways here at vibe church that we do it is through our website through our app, you can go to vibe church.org/give. And there's actually so many ways to give you're not even limited to your checking account or savings account. Here are five terms, you can give me a stock, you can give me a crypto, there's so many people in this community that have decided to practice this principle, and we've seen that nobody regrets ever being generous. That's really powerful. And I just want to pay attention to what he just said. Because there is nothing Vance just said in that second half. That made him sound like he needed to know anything about any financial terms. He just said oh, you can also give in the following way. That's right. That's all it needs to be. Yep. And so let's dig into this a little bit more, because I'm picturing that there's someone out there who's listening to this. And it's like, okay, Vance. Well, that's already what I'm doing. In my church. I tell my church, hey, here's the verse I pulled up this week, which we know they just go through a Rolodex, right, because there's only so many verses in the Bible. The tide, right, so we hear the set, you know, exactly. Proverbs 1124 25. Yeah. And, you know, we hear these verses, and they're like, but how can I make it fun and compelling? And you're saying, that's not the most important part, right? But what are you saying this differentiating people who grab a verse, say the verse then say, and now we're gonna give what's different about what you're trying to communicate? I, you know, said that I was gonna get a verse that was a layup. And there are those go to verses that specifically call out money? Right. But there's also verses that don't specifically call out money. Yeah. There's verses that don't specifically talk about ties that don't specifically talk about generosity, you should take those verses to write and you should build the tension. I think we talked about this on another podcast, but the brilliant story that kind of indirectly talks about money and currency, but not specifically about generosity. And tithing is a story where they try to trap Jesus, they try to trap Jesus in saying, Hey, should we pay taxes? Okay, so what is taxes have to do with the time and actually if we put those two concepts together, it's a little bit cringy. Because people sometimes misconstrue what the tithe is they think it's church membership fee, or they think it's the church tax to be able to be part of the community that can be further from the truth. So why would I be bringing this passage into a giving moment? Because it creates tension. Right? Yeah. And what you're trying to do is you're trying to relieve the tension with a greater principle. So in that story, where they're trying to trap Jesus, and tell him, Hey, Jesus, should we give our taxes because what they were trying to say is, they're corrupt Jesus, this government's corrupt. I thought you're meant to come here to overthrow this government. Jesus. So what you're gonna say now, because then if he bucked the trend, and he says, No, don't pay taxes, then they got him again. Yeah, because they're trapping him to do something illegal. And so he does something so brilliant. He says, Hey, no, you should look at what's on that coin. And they say, okay, yeah, on this coin is Caesar that that's the image he has like, yeah, okay, so the image on that coin is what they said Caesar Okay, give unto Caesar what is Caesar's. And then in just Jesus fashion, he just drops the mic. I love this passage so much. And he goes, and give to God, what is God's what does it have to do with tithes and offerings? Well, the the thing that it has to do with tithes and offerings is that Jesus always ups the standard. He says, Yes, pay your taxes. They printed those coins. Yeah, they printed those bills. They printed that money. Is that what you're putting your trust in? Give it back? Yeah, if they're rendering taxes, if they're demanding taxes, if they're requiring taxes, honor the government, honor the authority, pay your taxes, but check this out, give to God, what is God's? So if the image on the coin is Caesar, and I told you to give back to Caesar, what is Caesar's, what is the image on you? The Imago? Dei, you are an image bearer of God. So yeah, if you're gonna give to God, Who does God give your whole self to God? And so what does that have to do with the tithes and offerings? Because the UPS the standard, it's not just about, oh, how much I need to get what is it? Is it 10%? No, no, actually, here's the standard. Give everything. Yes, you have everything. So let's Yeah, when we come around the time of tithes and offerings, when we say a lot of people in this community are giving 10%. What we're saying is we're we're deciding what our baseline is going to be. Yeah. But what we're really aiming to do is become more and more like Jesus to become more and more like Christ, to figure out a way that we can actually give as much as possible to further the kingdom of God. Whether it's, yeah, maybe you're tired, but definitely also your talent. Yeah. And hopefully, your time. And so what, what we're doing and to your question, is, we're not trying to make the giving moment, a pan handling moment. Yes, where it's like desperate, like, Please give to us. Oh, we need to pay off debt. Oh, my gosh, like, we're in trouble. We need to pay the rent. Oh, my goodness. Please like to keep the lights on. Nobody gives to desperation, right? People give to invitation. People give to faith. People give to vision people give to first principle. Yeah, that's what you're trying to do. I think that's a that's a great distinction. And so, you know, as we're talking about this, I just want to get really granular because I know that this is very helpful for people when they're struggling with this. So what are some things that you have seen pastors, obviously we're not going to call out any institution or anybody. But what are some things that have been done wrong in this given moment that makes it fall flat? Yeah, number one too long. I would say that most of the time, if you're doing a giving moment, especially if somebody is coming into this space that's newer to this space, especially if maybe their hearts not aligned to what the purpose is. It's their moment. Like, they didn't get invited to preach this year, but they got a given moment. So they're gonna maximize it. No, no, it's not your chance to maximize it by giving a 10 minute sermonette on money. Yeah, that's not the point. Right? Like reserve the, here's the thing with hosting, and with platform time from people that may be facilitating things like giving or announcements and things like that. You want to point things back to God, not yourself. Yeah. You want to actually set it up for whoever the preacher is, for that day, a lot of times, it might be your lead pastor. And so if you're doing things in a way that doesn't set it up, but detracts from what's about to come, you didn't do your job, right. And so, to sit in that seat, a lot of times it's the person that sits sits in the second seat, it's the person that is maybe the second in command, maybe it's the person that is the support team, the executive team, around the lead pastor, the lead pastors, your job is kind of like in volleyball, to do the most amazing setup you can to set it up for the spike. Yeah. Because the goal of the service is not to necessarily get a giving report back and hey, look, look what I did, you know, givings up this record, record record week, because I give a two minute message. No, yeah. Like, that's not even the spike, though. Even if that was the case, that's not the spike, the spike is a salvation altar call. That's a spike. Yes. And so you're trying to get everything towards that. And so if you take that mentality with this giving moment actually does, you can connect the dots, right? Because people that goat respond to the altar is possible to do that, because of the building that you're in, because of the parking lot that you have, because of the volunteers that you have, because it paid staff that it takes to do all the logistics during the week. And so what you're doing is you're facilitating generosity towards the main part of worship, the main comission, the great commission that we have. And so too long, I think another maybe faux pa that I've seen is that it's too fancy. Okay. So, you know, you're trying to maybe do a funny story plus, like an alliteration plus, like, the super deep punch line. And it's like, man, so how do I give? And then, you know, you run out of time, because, you know, most modern churches have a clock. Yeah, you want at a time. And you want to respect the time, and you did everything in your content part that you have no time for the directions part. Yeah. And so you missed out on the logistical part, which is actually the main part, you know, what, they're actually half listening to you? And they're half like fumbling on their phone, like, like trying what was the website again, and they're trying to like, actually, they're actually trying to look past you to zoom in their camera for the QR code. So so that and then the third thing was like, read the room. Yes. Right. Read the room. Yeah. You know, have a form of engagement, do a little call and response. Like, I start a lot of the moments that I have an opportunity to, to encourage people in their giving. I say, I encourage the church. I say, Come on, boxers, how many people love to give? And there's usually like a little chair, right? And if the chair is too quiet, oh, really be like, no, no, come on. This is a generator, how many people love to get and I'm encouraging them. I'm not reprimanding them. I'm not saying Oh, you're not going to talk to me, huh? Oh, you know, it's no, no, it's it's, it's it's building with positivity. Yeah. It's building with edification. It's building with XOR to Hayward generation, this church for a decade as given sacrificially. This is why we're in this building right now. Because there are hundreds and hundreds of family units that have decided we're going to be a generous family. We're going to practice at the time. Yeah, we're gonna get above and beyond and become vision builders kingdom. But this is what Vive is. And I just want to encourage you right now, if you want to join that crew that coveted crew, decide today. Yeah, decide today that you want to be a giver. There's so many ways to get and then you get into the logistics. Right? And so I would say just too long, too fancy. And not reading the room. Yeah. No, I think that's great. And I'm thinking about church planters specifically with this next question, because it's good. I know Know that in previous episodes, we've talked about how to build trust in the church, and a lot of it has to do with do what you say you're going to do. Yes. And you build trust by proving that you have done that and will continue to do that. Yeah. So for a church planter, who literally is planting, it doesn't have anything currently to prove we're going to do it. We're, we've said we're gonna do, how can they build trust within the church, and for the givers in the room endorsement, continue. So early, early, early days, if you have a board of oversights or advisors that are pastors of other churches that are a little bit further have a little bit more credibility? Yeah, getting them to video in something in periodic times big celebration moments where they can endorse your leadership, I think it's really important to provide some credibility and gravitas to what you're building. Yeah, that's an important point because a lot of times some some people's hesitation with activating the tithe or giving or, you know, giving sacrificially is I don't know if there's going to be around in a couple years, right. And so you need people to validate it and provide credibility around it, build your team quickly. So that you are not the only one. Giving the giving moment, right, you're not the only one speaking to it. You want to create depth and layers to your team as soon as possible. So that here's the thing. We say this advisors honor up on her down on our all around a culture of honor is so important because your perception dictates your reception. There's actually this interesting story. This world class violinist, Joshua Bell, look him up. He would be invited to play at the largest stages, the Boston Symphony Hall, they would sell tickets for this guy for $300 a pop, he decided to do an experiment. He went to the subways in New York, and he was playing his violin the same set that he played a few days ago at the Boston Symphony Hall. And guess how much he made that day? In his little like violin case.$32 Wow. $32 Because your perception dictates your reception. Just imagine if somebody would have recognized him. Just imagine if somebody would have started the chain reaction. Just imagine if somebody would have acted out of honor. Yeah. And said, Hey, do you guys know this is? This is Joshua Bell. He was just at the Boston Symphony Hall. $300 a ticket. He's giving a free concert right here, put it on Instagram rules, put it on Tik Tok, put it on Snapchat, people start hearing about it, he would have had crowds and crowds and crowds. Why nothing changed. The setlist didn't change. He didn't change, the perception changed. That's What honor does. Wow. Jesus goes to his hometown. He said, I could not be honored in my hometown. Why? Because they treated him familiar. Yeah. And so what you need to do is you need to create layers in depth to your team, you need to have an advisor speak. And so you're not just hyping your own self up and saying, Hey, look, I'm this great leader. No, no, let other people say that. And let other people cultivate a culture of honor, because it's actually not for you or for the pastor. It's actually for the people. The pastor doesn't need honor. Yeah. But people need an opportunity to honor. Right, yeah. And another way that we honor is through our tithes and offerings. Yeah, I really like that. And one thing I would like to add, as someone who has been in the rooms with church planners, as they're getting their churches off the ground is that verse that you spoke about earlier? That's a great verse to point to in your giving message when you don't have anything to point towards yet. Right? Because it's saying give first, yeah, so for you see anything good give out of that faith. And so I think that using that lens, even as you're looking through scripture of where our stories of people who did something and acted before they saw what the results would be, that's gonna be super powerful for you of that as well. All right, well, this is really helpful to me, I feel like I can give a giving message seven that now you should amplify, amplify, shout out, shout out. Alright, so that's it for this episode. Guys, know that you have everything you need right in front of you, and that you don't need to be the world's most clever person on stage, giving this moment. It's all about God and just present that opportunity and give them all of the information they need to make it actionable in their lives. I love that and congratulations because you are an insider. Yeah, exclusive content just for you. Well done. Bye bye. Thanks so much for listening to the give it up podcast if you want to receive even more insights on church innovation, culture and giving. 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