You are reading a post in the mini-series entitled “When Churches Reopen”. I decided to write when I began seeing that some churches around the world were beginning to reopen. And in reading their announcements or newsletters I noticed that a lot of them were forgetting a few important things.
A lot of people have been laid off or even lost their job completely during this time.
I saw many churches showing different ways to give offerings and I felt not enough expressed care and concern for those left financially vulnerable because of the pandemic. Churches need to address this. Here are some ideas on how to care for the financially vulnerable during this time.
You Can Ask Them Not to Give
Yep, it could be that blunt and bold. Have your church communicate and let everyone know you don’t want them to give if they can’t.
One church I saw stated they would be accepting the money before even entering the building. Another said they’d take the money as people left. I understand why. But my first thought was how uncomfortable the financially vulnerable will feel, in a long line of people giving money. It would be awkward not to give. It would feel uncomfortable surely. And yet giving could be devastating for some.
The church is supposed to take care of the vulnerable no matter what. Making this clear will help prevent people feeling embarrassed, guilt, or shame at not being able to give. This may even remind those who can give right now why we give in the first place: to help those in need.
While those of us with means should give to help our brothers and sisters in need, we must make sure we’re not taking dignity from those who can’t.
You Can Make Any Assistance Your Church Offers Clear
If your church has the ability to help those struggling financially right now, then be sure to give the steps needed to receive financial assistance.
And maybe your church doesn’t or can’t offer financial assistance. But can you do a special collection from the people who are able to give and distribute it to families struggling?
You’d be surprised how a little help can go a long way. Paying for someone’s gas money can help them get to their new job. Paying for one week of groceries can help them pay their bills so they don’t get their lights turned off. Just paying for their babysitter to watch their kids can allow them to continue working.
Make the assistance available clear because it’s harder to ask for help than it is to accept the help being actively offered.
These are just a few different ideas, and I hope they inspire and get your church thinking about how it can help people made financially vulnerable during this time.
What is your church doing to help the financially vulnerable? What other things would you add to this? I’d love to hear it below!