Commitment to the cause is a huge issue for any newly planted church.
Due to the “newness” of your circumstances you may find yourself in a revolving-door to some degree. People very often come visit for a few weeks before making up their mind whether to join you or not.
We’ve found that tithes and offerings can play a strong role in helping people make that decision.
Someone told me that if you want people to get busy building a boat, you must first help them become enchanted with the vast beauty of the sea. This principle holds true for a new church. Forget the nuts and bolts (as much as you can) and focus on the end goals. Paint a big picture of the potential wrapped up in the newly sprouted congregation.
A good way to do this is to be careful to link vision-projection to any talk about tithes and offerings. My logic goes this way—if people begin to fund your vision, they are more likely to hang around and help develop the vision.
In other words it is easier for most people to part with their money than it is to give away their hearts. Yet, Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there is your heart.” My theory is that our hearts often follow our money. Give money to a homeless person and you soon find yourself more interested in homelessness, etc.
So, supporting a vision financially will lead to supporting it spiritually and with potential lifelong commitment.
This makes the offerings a terribly important part of any church launch.
One tool we discovered to enhance this process is a “mail-in” offering envelope. The discovery, as many do, arose from frustration. Our people would treat their tithes as an admission fee for church. If they were there they tithed. But when away on a business trip they neglected to tithe.
The solution to that problem was an offering envelope which is addressed to the church. It also includes a “return postage permit.” If you are away from church you can still tithe from anywhere. The idea worked. Our offerings began to stabilize with the simple production of those envelopes. But we discovered a second advantage to the mail-in envelopes. That was a tendency for both finances and attendance in newly planted churches to stabilize sooner than in those churches which took offerings only on the weekend. A simple tool, but one that has proven value.
Of course we receive offerings over the internet and at credit-card kiosks on Sundays. But we also still receive thousands of dollars via the good old postal system each week. Money is important to the growth of God’s kingdom. It is especially important to a newly planted church.
Give the envelope a try. I think you’ll like it.