6. The church must intentionally build greater trust with its people
Most church giving, especially project-driven giving, is in direct correlation with the trust account balance with its people. How often and how creatively can you build the trust connection that gives people instant freedom to say yes to a spiritual investment? Your people might love the primary teaching pastor. They most certainly love the people of their church. Significant trust comes from neither of these sources. Shaping confidence is a neglected art.
· No bank account replenishes itself automatically after a withdraw. So too must church leadership constantly make trust deposits.
· How can we increase our trust account?
· Tell people frequently how their financial gifts are being used.
· Teach how they are building treasure in heaven.
· Celebrate generosity at each offering.
· Help people understand how financial accountability is a big deal in your church.
· Maintain an open atmosphere about your finances.
· Unapologetically spend money on an annual, independent audit and proclaim the results of the clear audit. Make audit copies available in your lobby.
· Leaders appropriately share how they give.
· Send a thank you note to a household after their first gift to the church.
As we swim in these economically turbulent waters, consider more radical moves to build trust.
· Stop ineffective ministry even though you will take hits. People are having to adjust their budgets by stopping spending that they would rather not stop. Model for them how to adjust spending patterns.
· Redeploy budget line items to more practical human needs. Food banks, justice ministries, fighting child slavery, mercy ministries and other such works are perceived as far more important than operating expenditures. If the economy worsens, you will need to support some in your church to ride out the storm. Consistently building trust accelerates generosity.