Can you believe it? It’s been six months since we started deeply worrying about Covid-19. We’ve been staying at home missing our extended families, our friends and worshipping together in our faith communities. We’ve become desperate for human interaction that is in person and not online.
As cities and states have begun to re-open, the virus has infected more and more people. It’s more than a little frightening.
Some churches have begun to re-open. Some mega churches have opened and then experienced a surge in members and leaders becoming sick. Smaller churches have opened and been very careful about mask wearing and social distancing. Some have held services, not in their sanctuary, but outdoors in their parking lot, patio or even parks. It’s exciting to see how these churches are finding creative opportunities for worship.
What does all this mean for pledging and giving? Many churches with whom I’ve spoken have said that while their open plate giving has fallen off dramatically, their pledge giving has maintained or increased. And churches that have been conducting worship online and who have opportunities to give through mobile apps or online, have seen new donors giving to support their ministry. Tithe.ly and pushpay.com offer good programs to increase online giving and online participation.
CEEP (the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes) offered a good online course about online giving. They’ve been offering many good online courses to help churches develop new opportunities during this crisis. TENS (The Episcopal Network for Stewardship) is also offering some outstanding workshops at this time. Finally, The Ecumenical Stewardship Center is offering some very good resources for churches.
If you’d like more ideas about developing greater generosity during this pandemic, please email me.