Have you noticed the way retailers have started putting out Christmas displays as early as September? Every year, the push toward Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier. By October, children are making their Christmas lists and lots of people have already started hanging lights and buying gifts.
Even though Christmas is still more than two months away, they’ve started preparing. Have you?
Let me be clear. I’m not interested in whether you’ve bought your Christmas cards or started humming Silent Night. The real question is whether you’ve started preparing for your Christmas offering.
Have you decided to do one, set the kick-off date, and settled on your causes? Now, I know what you may be thinking:
You aren’t comfortable asking people to give to an offering around Christmas time. After all, everything is so hectic; people are traveling; wallets are already stretched too thin in an effort to make this “the most wonderful time of the year” for the kids. Christmas is just not the best time of year to ask people to give more to the church, right?
What if you are wrong?
What if Christmas is the perfect time to ask people to give over and above their regular giving? I have found that by planning in the fall for an end-of-the-year Christmas offering, you can create an opportunity for incredible blessing.
You can give your people a reason and a way to break out of the materialism that Christmas tends to bring. You can accelerate their spiritual growth. And you can be used by God to touch areas of your community and the world that He wants you to be able to influence without money acting as a limitation.
The key is to take a cue from those list-writing children and light-stringing retailers and start preparing for Christmas right now…in October or as soon as possible.
What is a Christmas Offering?
A Christmas offering is, by definition, a special offering given during a set period of time around Christmas that encourages people to give over and above their regular tithes and offerings.
Ever wonder why the Salvation Army chooses the Christmas season as the time to stand outside, ring their bells, and ask people to drop money into the little red bucket?
Because they understand that people want to give at Christmas.The season brings with it a feeling of good cheer and generosity. Even though your people may be spending a lot of money on travel and presents, they are still going to give money to some kind of cause.
By providing a Christmas offering, you are giving them the opportunity to make that gift to the local church, where they will be able to see its fruits in the months and years to come.
Still, I don’t want you to think of the Christmas offering only as a fundraising opportunity. It goes much deeper.
As we all know, the issue of giving is irrevocably linked to spiritual growth. Couple that with the fact that Christmas is a time when many people let their spiritual growth slide. They are visiting family across the country and missing church; their schedule is thrown off, so they neglect their daily devotional; they easily get caught up in the season’s consumerism mentality and fall into the trap of spending money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need, in the name of good cheer.
But by establishing and promoting a Christmas offering, you can continually redirect their thinking back to what’s going on in the local church, while giving them the opportunity to look beyond themselves and give sacrificially to God’s work. People grow when they give sacrificially.
Some of you may be thinking, “Yes, but if I push my people to give more at Christmas, won’t it hurt my regular end of year tithes and offerings?” Not at all. In working with churches across the country and with hundreds of pastors who have gone through my Coaching Networks, I’ve found that the Christmas offering doesn’t negatively affect regular tithes or end-of-the-year giving.
Why? Because the money that will go to your Christmas offering will come out of a different “pocket” than your congregation’s regular giving. Often, it’s money that they already want to donate to something, somewhere, anyway. You are simply re-directing that gift toward God’s work, and doing so in a way that will stretch and grow every single giver.
Your partner in ministry,
P.S. For the ultimate guide to planning & conducting your Christmas Offering (including how to promote and challenge your church), click the link below to secure your copy of the BRAND NEW “How to Plan and Conduct a Christmas Offering” resource. Order by THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14 and receive over $935.00 in BONUS resources. You’ll be mailed my BRAND NEW Hardback book (The Renegade Pastor, Retail: $19.95) plus get TWO FREE MONTHS in the Renegade Pastors Network!
Since THE TIME IS NOW for you to plan your Christmas Offering, this resource is available as a LIMITED RELEASE – only available through Thursday, November 14!
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