I have led churches that struggled financially. I have led churches that had a surplus. I like surplus better. It allows the church to step up, reach out, and make a difference more effectively. The conversation in the church changes from financial problems to making disciples and mission possibilities. As we look forward to coming out of a COVID-19 dominated season, are there ways we can lay a stronger financial base for a new future for our church?
I want to offer some simple ideas as a start:
  • Send a hard copy letter signed by the pastor to each person or family that gives for the first time. Just thank them. Do not offer them other ways to give this early or ask them to give more, just appreciation and a prayer of blessing for them. Make this gracious, welcoming, and affirming.
  • Send a hard copy letter signed by the pastor to each person or family who continued to give during the COVID-19 season. My guess is some have dropped out, but many did not. They deserve a note of appreciation and a prayer of blessing for their faithfulness. You also want them to continue to give in the future. Make this gracious and affirming.
  • Send a special hard copy letter signed by the pastor to your bigger givers and to those who give a larger gift for the first time. When people give larger gifts, they are affirming their belief in the church and the ministry you share. You want to affirm this partnership. It paves the way for a stronger future for you, the church, and the giver.
  • Send a hard copy letter signed by the senior pastor to persons who have not given or stopped giving. Be generous in this letter as people might have given cash and there is no record of it, or people have given before and might not have been thanked for the gift or gifts. Here simply share what the church has done, is doing, and where the church is going in its life and mission. Offer a graceful prayer and promote the next message series and the exciting place the church is moving too and if applicable, the restart, new start idea. People that have dropped out may feel encouraged to step back in.

What are the biblical foundations for giving?
What has the church accomplished, is accomplishing and plans to accomplish? The church's vision and mission and the concrete real-world things the church is planning to do (people connect with real stuff better than ethereal visions).
What is unique about partnering specifically with your church and its mission that is compelling and inviting?
Personalize each letter, sign each one; this is a lot of work but has high value to the receiver. They want to feel like they have a relationship and partnership with their pastor and pastors. The more personalized each letter is the more value it is to the one who receives it. Just some ideas!

Rev. Mike Ramsdell,
Executive Director, Smith Center for Evangelism, Mission & Church Growth

**In my eNote a few weeks ago titled “New Church for a New World” I listed a series of upcoming webinars we are offering that we hope will be helpful to you. The first was BOTH/AND and debuted a few weeks ago on Hybrid Worship presented by Midnight Oil Productions. 
This Thursday, March 4 at 10 a.m., we are connecting with a webinar in partnership with the Texas Conference titled “The Post Quarantine Church.” Thom Rainer, one of the premier church consultants in the nation, will be leading from his recent book of the same name. If you want to connect please follow this zoom link at 10 a.m. tomorrow (March 4) https://zoom.us/j/97190832280. There is no cost or registration required to this event. We thank the Texas Conference for giving us this opportunity

Also calendar our next webinar, “Building a Spiritual Core”, Wednesday, March 24th, 11:30am – 1:00pm. Registration and more info on the following five webinars are coming soon. Leaders will be Bishop Lowry, myself, District Superintendents and other guest presenters. You can access all of the upcoming webinars at https://www.ctcumc.org/ncnwctcumc.org/ncnw.