Does the method of giving in your church reflect these trends? Increasingly, churches are providing their members with alternate giving methods such as:

  • Bank Draft or Automatic Withdrawal. This most common method, and the one offered by the most churches, permits members to set up an automatic giving option, usually set for once or twice a month.
  • Credit or Debit Cards. Giving members the opportunity to give with credit or debit cards was a rare occurrence ten years ago, but is now a much more common practice among churches.
  • Online Giving. As more and more people engage in internet commerce, churches are increasingly using their websites to offer persons the option to make contributions online.
  • Giving Kiosks. One of the most “edgy” innovations is the installation of one or more “giving kiosks” in a church for credit or debit card giving. Hodges reports that the pastor who developed the giving kiosk, which today sells for between $2,000 and $5,000, reported receiving $200,000 in kiosk giving last year.

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I have resisted the thought that a cashless society is on its way. The reality is, A cashless society is already here and functioning well with or without my participation. Lovett Weems article is well balanced in looking at the trends and evaluating their usefulness to ministry.

clock.jpgThe lesson that is essential for churches that are revitalizing and for new church starts is to begin at the front of technology today. If your goal is to be vibrant 10 -20 years from now the technology trends that are emerging now will be outdated in 3-5 years. The rate of technology growth is accelerating and new innovations are embraced in popular culture in months rather than years. The church should not embrace every new trend but we need to be aware of the trends because they affect the people who we are trying to reach.

We are called to interpret, connect and engage the popular culture with the scripture. We are also called to lead people into becoming fully committed and mature followers of Jesus Christ. If we can assist people to become good stewards of their finances through providing online giving or automatic bank withdrawal then my personal views become irrelevant. I wonder will this require a committee vote?

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