Many churches have special offerings that they take up regularly. Though the staff in the church office can tell you all about them in their sleep, they often come as a surprise to church members and because of that, the church does not get the response they hoped for. Below is a note I got from a frustrated church member that I wanted to share with you.
Identifying details in the short message that follows and in all the true church stories I share are hidden so as not to ever embarrass any specific church.
They did it again! Every month my church takes up an offering for special needs in the city. I really want to donate to this, but I can't keep track of when they are going to do it. Also, though I do all my regular giving online, for this offering they expect you to put real money or a check in an envelope that they enclose in the church bulletin. They always make a big deal out of it in the church service, but I imagine I'm not the only one who has to plan ahead to bring cash or a check. It always puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the service. Why can't they send out a message in the weekly church email that they send out every week letting me know this was happening? How can I nicely let them know?
I told the person that a nice email or note sent and kindly and letting them know how much you wanted to give, but needed to plan ahead and if they could put a short note in the weekly email newsletter that would probably work.
For the church office
Whether you get a note like this or not, please remember that what is sometimes a special, continuing project or ministry for the church staff is often not something that your congregation remembers. Please be helpful and send out a reminder in your weekly email newsletter, Facebook, social media or however else you contact your congregation.
In addition, remember to give short updates about what the money is going for because people might not have any idea what "City Service Outreach" is all about. They may not know that it goes towards job retraining programs and special fun times, such as children's birthday parties for people living in homeless shelters.
A short story and a reminder when you will be taking up the offering will no doubt greatly increase your response. The help to people and ministries will who need it is more than worth the time it takes to write and communicate a reminder.