However, churches shouldn’t be surprised at the commonly low giving levels if people aren’t taught the why and how of giving.
As part of the communications plan at church, I’ve slotted in segments where we talk about giving. These extended segments take place once a month, and I’ve been researching some videos that could be used to teach people about giving.
These can then be combined with information about the impact of giving to encourage people about the impact of their generosity.
Take for example this video:
Isn’t that an inspiring reminder of the impact of our generosity? Wouldn’t this encourage you to give?
Here are 8 videos worth considering as you teach about giving. If you’ve seen any others, please share them in the comments below.
For an alternative, consider handing out copies of The Treasure Principle – it’s the best book I’ve read on giving.
Learning to Give With Alex
What Happens to a Dollar
This video is a good example of communicating how money is used.
Double the Impact
Why We Give
A Giving Paradox
A Biblical Look at Tithing
Have you seen any other good videos that teach about giving?
Clarify (Mac) is an app that helps you take screenshots, annotate the screenshots, and turn them into helpful instructions.
There are numerous uses for Clarify in a ministry context. I’m using it to create instructions that explain how to use our member database. For example:
- How to indicate when you’re unavailable to serve
- How to add people to rosters
- How to send an SMS
However, you could also use Clarify to:
- Provide instructions for new staff/volunteers
- Explain how to edit content on the church website
- Help staff to learn how to use a new piece of software
- Explain how to complete a complex form
By investing some time once to create a clear set of instructions, you can save a lot of time, and free yourself to invest in other activities.
How to use it
Using Clarify is quite simple, and involves creating a series of steps, each with space for a heading, explanatory text and an image:
Clarify includes some tools that you can use to highlight, circle, add arrows, and blur text:
You can add an image from your computer, or take a series of images (e.g. screenshots) that are automatically added to your document.
You can then see all steps, and rearrange the order as needed:
If you’d like to see an example, here’s a tutorial I created for our Elvanto users, explaining ‘How to mark attendance at services’.
Take a look at this video for a more detailed look at what’s possible (or check out this tour):
A new system
In Australia as of 15 June this year, there are new requirements for working with children. This is a thoroughly good idea, that will involve rigorous checks for anyone working with kids – including in churches.
“A Working With Children Check involves a national criminal history check and review of reported workplace misconduct, and the result is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children. If the outcome is a clearance, the Check can be used for any paid or unpaid child-related work in NSW.”
The process is different in each state, but here’s an overview what’s happening in NSW. The new process is being rolled out in phases, and churches are the first phase to be brought into the new system.
Harnessing the member database
At Church by the Bridge, we use Elvanto as our member database, and one of the great things about Elvanto is its flexibility to record information. You can create whatever fields you like to store whatever information you need.
I’ve been working with the team here to understand the government and Diocesan requirements, and how we can use Elvanto as one part of a process of keeping our kids safe.
Below are the fields that I’ve created in Elvanto in a new section on our database called ‘Working with Children’:
Please note: this is a work in progress and we are still confirming the requirements. However, I hope it gives you can idea of what is possible.
Another great feature of Elvanto is its ability to generate reports based on any data that has been recorded. For example, I could create a report to tell me everyone who is working with children, who we don’t have a signed ‘working with children’ declaration form:
This is just an example, again to illustrate what’s possible. We’re still working out what’s best to report on in order to care for our kids.
As I said (and stress), this is a work in progress and we haven’t figured it all out yet.
I share this with you to encourage you by showing you what’s possible with technology, and how we can use technology to care for the kids in our churches.
If you’ve done some thinking on this, please share it with us.
Last year Church by the Bridge underwent a major redevelopment. It is a beautiful building that we wanted to care for and prepare for many more years of gospel ministry.
It was important for us to celebrate the history of the building – we wanted to make much of the structure, the stained-glass, the wooden rafters, etc. – and ensure that any improvements to the church didn’t detract from these things.
The church had pews that weren’t particularly historic – 1970s in fact. These pews were to be replaced with chairs, to ensure the church could be a more flexible space – for smaller group gatherings, or to enable us to completely clear the space out altogether.
Selecting a chair was one of the most difficult decisions we experienced!
There are a lot of chairs on the market. There are a lot of terrible chairs (particularly those that bill themselves as ‘church chairs). There aren’t many chairs that look good in an historic space.
Also, chairs are an important decision. Everyone will sit on a chair. There are lots of different body shapes. And everyone has an opinion about chairs (fewer people have an opinion about door handles).
We knew the chairs needed to be:
- Comfortable (don’t take this for granted – not all chairs are)
- Appropriate for the space they will be used in
After much deliberation, we selected the Forum. It is an excellent chair, that we have no regrets in selecting and would recommend to any other church.
Here’s some photos:
There are lots of colour combinations for the leg/seat:
They stack very well:
They also link together, with a unique magnetic linking device:
This is how they look inside our building:
We’ve been very happy with them.
Chair pricing is highly flexible – depending on the selected chair, the materials used, whether or not it links, etc.
However, to give you an idea, the chair that we selected (with the bleached beech frames and stained seat, and custom linking devices) were $395 + GST each, but due to the quantity we selected, we received a $100 discount per chair.
We purchased ours from Insitu Furniture. I recommend you speak with Jacqui – to organise a sample, and to work out the pricing for the number of chairs you require. If you’re interested in finding out more check out these brochures (brochure 1 and brochure 2).