What Are Churches Doing To Encourage Giving as an Act of Worship During COVID-19?
August 25, 2020
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In this time of COVID-19, whether churches are meeting in-person or online, the Offering Time has been removed from many services and has moved to either online giving, drive-thru giving, something dropped in a box on the way in or out of church, or a combination of these. While this has been deemed necessary, it may disconnect giving from being an act of worship.
What are churches doing to spark that sense of worship in how they collect their offering?
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You raise a profound question and it even stretches beyond The Offering to a larger question about what worship will look like post-COVID? And will we ever experience a post-COVID or will we always have COVID with us ... like the flu or other viruses?
Those churches that had online giving or pre-authorized giving before COVID hit are probably still managing to pay their bills. Those church members have grown accustomed to giving to the church outside of the weekly worship service.
It is undoubtedly more difficult for churches that passed the offering plate on Sundays and that was the sole source of church revenue.
My hunch is that mission giving has moved from the offering plate to direct donations to the ministry agency. While non-profit funding is down considerably during COVID, my hunch is that mission agencies with their broad database of church members and supporters may be doing okay.
I have also noticed that online giving has spread to a wider family of kingdom causes. Local church loyalty is giving way to a broader Kingdom approach. Sunday worship during COVID has become "Sunday worships" -- often watching two, three or more worship services on a Sunday, either live or on YouTube. I live in Ontario but I regularly 'worship' with our kids in Florida and in Seattle on Sunday mornings. While there is a temptation to donate to them when the offering call comes around, I've resisted the tempation ... mainly because U.S. churches can't issue Canadian tax receipts.
I guess I haven't really answered your question. Churches regularly encourage their online audiences to still donate online or to send a cheque in the mail. From a parishioner's perspective, The Offering still happens but the recipients vary ... depending on whim.
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