I’ve always loved the way the Apostle John ended his Gospel: “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25, ESV).
And, loving this verse as I do, I can’t help but be reminded of it every time I read a new “think piece” or “longitudinal study” on the detrimental impact technology–especially mobile technology–has had on us as a culture. Truly, if every blog post, Facebook tirade, op/ed article, and well-intentioned rant about “kids these days” could be stacked end to end, I’m certain that “the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
Such is the case with all periods of rapid technological advancement. We get the new toys and then we stop to ponder all the ways life was better before those new toys came along. It happened with cars, and computers, and electricity, and probably fire itself.
And it’s happening in The Church today with online and mobile giving tools. While the church has recently made considerable strides in our adoption of digital giving, we still lag far behind other nonprofit organizations in our use of these tools.
At Mogiv, this is something we’ve been helping churches think through for over five years now. Can churches incorporate new technologies into their stewardship ministries without alienating existing givers or undermining the “offering moment?” Can we make giving fast, easy, and convenient but also still worship?
We believe the answer to both of these questions is a resounding YES! And we’ve seen the evidence of this at hundreds of churches across the country. If your church is still debating whether or not to “make the jump” into mobile giving, below are a few more reasons why we believe NOW is the time.
1) Because online giving IS mobile giving.
Online giving is no longer “new.” It’s been around for what feels like forever. What’s new is what we mean when we talk about “online giving.” Having a “Give Online” button on your website doesn’t cut it anymore. The Internet has gone mobile! 34% of adults say their smartphone is their primary tool for accessing the Internet. By 2018, it is expected that 57% of all web traffic will come from mobile devices. If your church’s digital giving process isn’t as fast and easy on a smartphone or tablet as it is on a computer, then you’re missing out on potential gifts. Plain and simple.
2) Because there are people in your church who are NOT giving.
Even if your church has a thriving and consistent core of givers, there are still certain individuals who for some reason just aren’t giving. Technology probably isn’t the whole story, but it can certainly play a role. Some of my favorite statistics around digital giving are how many of the people giving through these channels are brand new givers. (One industry leader puts the number of first-time givers around 25%.) And we’ve seen this firsthand at Mogiv. In 2014, we helped a church in Texas introduce text giving to their congregation, and they immediately began receiving $2,500 – $3,000 in new giving each month. Much of it from people who had never given before!
3) Because generosity doesn’t just happen on Sunday morning.
Rather than detracting from the “offering moment,” text and mobile giving options expand the opportunities your members have to practice life-changing generosity. If we want to get serious about transforming the way our churches teach and practice generosity, we cannot relegate giving to a brief moment between the worship set and the sermon. It needs to be an everyday discipline. By turning mobile devices into conduits for giving, churches can do just that. There is no longer a disconnect between the desire to give and the ability to give. Wherever and whenever an opportunity for generosity presents itself, your givers can respond. Quickly. Conveniently. Generously.
4) Because small gifts can make a BIG difference!
As was mentioned in Point #2, one of the greatest benefits of mobile giving is the fact that it serves as an “on-ramp” for new givers. So what if some of these initial gifts are on the smaller side? Remember, it’s not about the amount; it’s about the opportunity. If you can convert even a handful of non-givers into new givers, you are paving the way for a lifetime of generosity. Jesus himself celebrated the value of small offerings, given cheerfully. (Luke 21:1-4) Mobile giving simply creates new opportunities for your members to bring their “mites into the treasury.” And consider the impact of all these small gifts added together! A great example here is The Red Cross who raised $43 million in aid following the Haiti earthquake from text donations alone.
Is your church ready to unleash the next generation of givers?
We’d love to be part of that process. Checkout mogiv.com/church today to learn more about what we’re doing for hundreds of churches across the country. We’d love for YOUR church to be next!