How to make offering times an integral part of the worship service
By Stan Toler
In many churches, the offering time is one of the most interesting moments in the worship service. In some churches, it’s a time to share casserole recipes in loud whispers. In others, it’s a time when the board chairman’s granddaughter can sing with her new accompaniment tape. In some churches, offering time is as thrilling as trying on gloves, while in others, it’s an exciting time of praise for God’s blessings. Offering times should be well-planned and integral to the worship service. Here are some tips:
1. Don’t “take” the offering; “receive” it.
By your terminology, suggest that they are privileged to give God what belongs to him.
2. Include some variety.
A brief drama on the blessing of giving may precede receiving the offering. A humorous story about greed or giving can lighten the mood. Have a tither give a brief testimonial on giving.
3. Lead the field.
Be sure you set an example. Let the first check in the offering plate be yours. Before the ushers receive the offering from the congregation, let the congregation see you putting your check in the offering plate first. Make sure the audience knows that you are on the giving team.
4. Link the offering with your purpose.
Illustrate how the weekly offerings are helping in the mission and ministry of the church. Before receiving the offering, give a brief account of something that is being accomplished through the faithfulness of the congregant’s giving.
5. Use Scripture.
Prior to (or during) the offering time Read a Bible verse (or project it onto the overhead screen) about the stewardship responsibilities of God’s people. Let your parishioners know that giving is a biblical mandate. God can say it better than you, anyway!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the head usher call you over to the side of the platform and tell you that too much had been given for the building fund? Exodus 36:5-6: “‘The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do.’ So Moses gave a commandment . . . saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing.” Turn the offering time around, and maybe the entire church program will be turned around!”
Copyright © 2012 by Stan A. Toler
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