Lockdown has changed the way we worship, and perhaps your church, like many, has let the offering slip.
At an in-person service, the offering is the most visible and tangible expression of our giving as Christian people, and our online practice should reflect this.
Whether you are hosting services online, in-person, or both (!), here are five key steps for enabling giving through the offering.
1. Introduce it well
As part of an introduction to the offering, it’s good to explain what will happen, so that visitors (in person or online) do not feel caught unawares. Explain why we have an offering, and briefly explain what people’s giving enables.
2. Use Scripture or liturgy to focus people’s attention
Sharing a Bible verse or liturgy on giving and generosity can help create that sacred space, reminding people that Christian giving is an act of worship. Parish Resources have a list of introductory verses and quotes that you may like to use.
3. Signpost ways for people to give easily
Sharing your online giving page is the simplest way to do this – you could post your URL in your livestream or Zoom meeting. You could also create a QR code that takes people to your online giving page, which you could share in and out of the church building. If you don’t yet have an online giving page, you can find out how to get started with online giving on our website.
4. Allow people time to give
We have some suggestions for hymns and songs with a thanksgiving or generosity theme, which are especially suitable for the offering.
5. Commit the gifts to God in prayer
This is an important step to conclude the offering, as it unites the congregation of givers and acknowledges people’s generosity. For many givers, having their gift blessed is an extremely valuable and is an important part of them making a donation. Parish Resources have collated a variety of offertory prayers for eucharistic and non-eucharistic worship, including some seasonal material.
Example Wording for the Offering
“During our next hymn, an offering will be received which we can all take part it. This helps to resource the ministry of this and other churches, and also provides us an opportunity to symbolise the offering of ourselves by the offering of money. Please feel no obligation to give, but if you would like to please join in, whether you are at home or in person.
‘But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.’ (1 Chronicles 29:14)
You can give by clicking the link in our livestream or by scanning the QR code on the service sheet and screen. Thank you to those who give by PGS or standing order. We can all use this hymn to reflect on God’s generosity to us, and how we can respond.
[Hymn: Be Thou my Vision – During which there is time for people to give and pray.]
God of all goodness and grace, receive the gifts we offer at home and in church; and grant that our whole life may give you glory and praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”