“Digital giving is making the church— and software companies—more money” was the caption of an article entitled “Rising Tithes” I read in CT several weeks ago. At the time, I decided I would use it as the basis of a column when we were considering our financial projection for the new year. What I failed to realize was that it would appear in the last church paper before Christmas. I’m not sure I can make a Christmas message out of it, but I’m going to try.
The article noted that tech companies like Pushpay, Tithe.ly, and easyTithe let church members tap their way to a tithe through smartphone apps, websites, and text messages. Pushpay processed a record $4.2 billion in giving last year, making them $98.4 million. Digital tithing companies boast that churches that use their services have seen giving go up 30%, 50%, and even more than double. They claim the reason they work so well is that they avoid the summer slump since recurring transfers continue to process even when people aren’t in worship, and even average churchgoing families aren’t likely to be there every week.
As you may have noticed, we never resort to fund-raising campaigns, nor do we hire experts to help us raise money. Many years ago we did have stewardship emphasis months when teaching was needed to establish an understanding of what good stewardship entails, but now we only preach about giving when it comes up in the text we are studying. And there is no need to do more.
The projected financial need for 2020 was presented last Sunday, and there is little doubt that it will be met. Our giving exceeded last year’s projection by over $300 a week, leaving us a bank account that will hopefully enable us to do something about the parking lot next year.
Now on to Christmas. If the magi from the east had used Pushpay, they wouldn’t have had to travel so far. They could have just stayed home on Christmas, and Mary’s account would have shown gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Minus fees of course. And minus the worship.
God Bless, Rick