Sustaining your church's finances during COVID-19
Six tips for church financial leaders
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak will have a major economic impact on individuals, families, businesses, organizations – and churches, too. As your church implements worship service alternatives and other contingencies, don’t forget also to care for the church’s operations and financial stewardship ministries.
- Move offerings online. If your church hasn’t considered online giving, now is a perfect time to do so. There are numerous online platforms to allow your attenders to safely and securely give to your congregation. Download our overview and review of some vendors. Individuals might also consider using their bank’s electronic bill pay options to generate and send their tithes and offerings, or supporting your church through a donor advised fund.
- Send out giving reminders. Keep giving top-of-mind for your attenders. Use your church’s newsletters, email lists, and/or social media to remind people that funding support for operations and missions continues, even if worship is being done remotely. Give them practical suggestions on ways to do that.
- Keep your church financial team members and staff safe. If your attenders are still giving with cash or check, take precautions to protect the health of your financial secretary and others handling the offerings. Provide them with gloves and hand sanitizer to use when they’re counting and recording the gifts. And, of course, practice appropriate social distancing.
- Support those who are at risk and/or struggling in your midst. Your attenders are each emotionally and financially impacted differently by the coronavirus situation. Everence® has a number of ways to help, including our Sharing Fund grant program to help you help those who could use some assistance and relief in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. For the remainder of 2020, Everence is doubling the amount of eligible Sharing Fund grant money available to congregations with an Everence stewardship advocate, to help churches assist members or community individuals facing serious financial needs due to COVID-19 – including pastors who may be losing income due to reduced giving in the midst of the epidemic. We also have a guide, Creating and managing a benevolence fund, that could be helpful to your church in managing requests.
- Take care of your pastor. Even under normal situations, pastors face unique and often challenging financial circumstances, which can put stress on their personal and ministerial health and wholeness. These challenges, if left untended, can impair and hinder their ability to lead your congregation and fulfill their calling to the ministry. Talk to your pastor, see how he or she is doing – and if they need help on their financial stewardship journey, the Everence Pastoral Financial Wellness Program might help.
- Review or create a congregational emergency financial plan. In the midst of a crisis, knowing what to do – and who is responsible for it – can help your church be prepared and calm in the midst of chaos. This includes establishing guidelines and lines of authority related to decision-making and procedures concerning your finances into the future during these uncertain times
We can help
We know your church family is focusing on trusting God, rejecting fear, and finding creative ways to care for each other in this uncertain time. Our faith communities’ response to the coronavirus outbreak is visibly needed by our communities.
Everence understands the unique challenges that faith communities face, and we offer a wide variety of resources to support your stewardship ministry. To talk to us about the stewardship needs of your congregation, contact your Everence stewardship consultant.