Your Christmas Offering Questions (Part 2 from Webinars)

Hundreds of you joined me a couple of weeks ago for my “How to Plan and Conduct a Christmas Offering” Webinars and hundreds more have downloaded ChristmasOfferingWebinarthe new Christmas Offering report that I released in October.

In spite of my best efforts however, there are still a few questions that I didn’t clearly address.  Today’s 2nd post is my effort to answer all of those unanswered Christmas Offering questions from the webinars and from your emails.

Here they are:

Q: If we start the offering around Thanksgiving (or just before) and run it through January, should we really call it a “Christmas Offering?”

A: The concept of this type of offering is about helping people stretch spiritually and fund Kingdom efforts at a time when they’re in the giving spirit in general.  That’s why I use the term “Christmas Offering” to describe this type of offering in my training and discussions.

However, you can feel free to call it whatever you think will best connect with your people.  If you’re planning to go into the new year, a “Christmas Offering” will not be as compelling.

At The Journey we refer to it as our “special offering” or “annual offering,” because we often end up extending it through January.

Q: Do you announce the goal amount and the progress to the church?

A: Yes! Once you determine your goal amount (remember, this should be a goal that you can meet and exceed), let people know.  We are all wired for a challenge and just knowing that goal amount may be just what it takes for someone to give more than ever to see it met – and learn some lessons about faith along the way!

As for the progress, you definitely want to keep people informed.  You don’t have to announce the exact amount raised every week, but you should make mention of how things are going on a regular basis.

Q: What happens to the funds if we miss our goal (or exceed it by a lot)?

A: This is a good question on both ends.

1) On the “missing your goal” side: If you have tried some of the ideas I shared in the webinars and still fell short of your goal, then something (or some things) simply go unfunded.

That’s why it’s so important to choose your causes wisely AND make sure that they are one-time causes.  In other words, don’t set up a staff person’s salary so that it depends on your Christmas Offering.

You also don’t want to promise anyone any certain amount (especially outside organizations) until your offering has concluded.  For example, even if you don’t reach your goal and can only give half of what you planned to a local homeless shelter, that’s still a meaningful gift to them.

2) If you exceed your goal (which I’m praying you do, by the way), then you can simply divide the extra between missions and the 2010 budget.  It can provide just the right shot in the arm to both your missions efforts AND your general operating funds for the upcoming year!

Thanks again for all the great feedback and interaction regarding the Christmas Offering report and webinars – I look forward to hearing how God uses it all to bless your churches and expand His Kingdom!

P.S. If you missed the Christmas Offering Webinar, you can listen to a replay of the audio by CLICKING HERE.

And you can also still download your “How to Plan & Conduct a Christmas Offering” Report by CLICKING HERE.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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