Giving goes down in the summer.
Yep. We know that. That’s been the pattern, the norm, the expectation for years.
Members scatter for some much needed vacation.
And as they go, so goes the hope of fully funding the ministry needs of the Summer.
(Or so goes the theory.)
Take the month of July, for example. Over the past decade (regardless of what the budgetary needs may have been from year to year), the summer slump in contributions has resulted in a 10 year average of giving only 73% of the budget needs for the month.
When that happens, ministries have only one choice.
And that is to limit spending. Which, said another way, is to limit ministry.
Or yet another way…
If the budget for the month represents the full measure of what we envision God doing with us and through us as a church, then our giving patterns demonstrate we are only interested in accomplishing 73% of what God has in mind.
But that can change.
And it can change right now.
One Generous July.
For the month of July, I am challenging our congregation, to over-give the budget. That’s right. In a month that (on average) is 27% UNDER budget, I am calling on us to undo our habit and overdo our generosity, for one month.
Here are 4 reasons JCBC can change the trend, and meet the challenge.
1. Learned trends can be unlearned.
For a long time, our habit has been to expect a financial summer slump.
But why? Must we keep the expectation of people and of faith that low? Is it not possible, for the One who makes all things new to raise up new and maybe even REnewed commitments among people?
As with any unhealthy habit, sometimes what is needed is a jumpstart.
An atypical effort.
A radical try.
Remember the Atkins Diet a few years ago? Many people to this day have enjoyed great weight loss success by the Atkins method of restricting carbohydrates. But it is only possible after the body goes through a challenging period of time, breaking its own cravings for carbs; UNlearning, if you will, what it has grown to expect.
JCBC can unlearn the summer slump. Think of it. There are now more ways than ever to remain engaged all summer long. What we need is a jumpstart.
An atypical effort.
A radical try.
2. Everything we will ever need, we already have. Right now.
The Barna Research Group reveals that only 12% of American Christians tithe 10% or more of their income to the church. According to an Empty Tomb Inc. report, American Christians give, on average, 2.43% of their annual salary to their local church.
Let it marinate.
At JCBC, we have no way of knowing what percentage of a person’s giving is donated to the church. (Nor would it be appropriate to know it.)
But our financial record keepers CAN tell us that our entire ministry budget is typically supported year to year by an average of around 900 contributors.
Who knows how many of our faithful contributors are tithing 10%?
Who knows how many are giving more closely to the national average of 2.43%?
But can you stop to think of the implications for a moment?
Just think about it.
We have anywhere from 1500 to 2000 regular attenders who come to church an average of 1 to 2 times per month.
If we are almost supporting a 4.3 million dollar budget…
with approximately 900 contributors…
based (presumably) on national averages and trends…
Can you imagine what is already possible and within reach, if even a few, within our JCBC family, were to step out in faith and give?
Everything we will ever need, we already have. Right now.
3. Consistency and convenience have never been easier.
Fact: there are more ways to give now at JCBC, than there have ever been. If you love your church and believe in the ministries it provides, there are multiple ways for you to demonstrate that love through your generous support.
- Online giving. By visiting our website, you can choose to make a one time donation, or to set up recurring gifts online.
- Automatic Bill Pay. Much like you do with your bills at home, you can set up your recurring offering to come directly from your bank. You can arrange it to be managed one donation at a time, or on a recurring basis.
- Traditional offering envelopes. For those who prefer to write out a check and bring it physically to church, traditional offering envelopes are always available.
4. We’re off to a good start.
After two weeks in July, we have already given 43% of what is needed for the month. With our 10 year July average being 73%, we are well on our way to changing our trend.
Over the two weeks that remain in July, we will need to give 90K per week in order to meet the challenge of One Generous July. That is around 8K more per week than normally required.
This is possible. Entirely possible.
If we all make sacrifices together for the church we all love.
Johns Creek Baptist Church