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Online Giving: Don't Go for the Hard Sell if You Don't Need To

I read with amusement this post from The Lead:

As I have wrestled with this question with congregational leaders (and with members of the Net and Millenial Generations) one significant reality has emerged. It has to do with stewardship practices. The Net and Millenial Generation members do not use cash and they do not write checks. They swipe a debit/credit card for almost all of their purchases and payments. In the church, how do we receive our offerings? We pass an offering plate that we hope gets filled with cash and checks. We do not use their currency! This is just one sign of the generational divide and it is one (of many) that we need to recognize, name and address.

I say “with amusement” because it was just this issue that got me into an interesting position with my own pastor.

About a year and a half ago, I was winding up my time as my church’s Finance Committee chairman when I met with the pastor on some matters before the church.  After those were dealt with this issue came up.  There was a proposal to put kiosks in the foyer (we haven’t graduated to a narthex just yet, Anglicans) and set up online giving.  So my pastor went into a long dissertation along the line of The Lead’s observation about the newer generations and their spending methods figuring, I suppose, that I am a typical Boomer and still cut checks and had no appreciation for the benefits of online and kiosk giving and would not be receptive to the proposal.

My response?  I told him that our local church was just about the last ministry we cut checks to.  The “debate” collapsed and today we have online giving.

What my pastor hadn’t counted on was that, after over a decade of web mastering, blogging, POD and setting up several web stores, I’ve pretty much gone over to the way the “Net and Millenial” generations do payment.

BTW, I would urge any church considering online giving to do it.  And don’t let the “old heads”–no matter what their calendar age–in the church stand in the way of progress.


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