We are midway through the third month of the COVID-19 pandemic and the world as we remember it is far different now. The economic successes that we celebrated have quickly disappeared, making us realize that again, our faith in Christ is what really matters. How do we help our financially stressed givers and encourage them to continue living generously in a time where they might be experiencing unemployment, lowered income, and or health concerns? There are a few opportunities you can provide your givers to show them your church’s desire to love and support them during this crisis.
Help with Unemployment
Your church, like many, is a perfect place for networking connections. Even though we are living in a time of social distancing, using these connection opportunities to help your givers learn about each other is key. If your church is facing higher levels of unemployment, you might consider hosting a virtual job fair. Here’s how it works –
1. Email, post on social media, and mention during online services that you are hosting an online job fair for your unemployed congregants. Ask your audience to contact you with employment opportunities through their companies.
2. Collect the responses and choose a date/time for the online fair.
3. Invite your congregants to register for the job fair to hear about the job opportunities.
4. Set up a webinar through Zoom that allows each of the employers the opportunity to talk about their company and the jobs available. Each employer should have about 5 minutes to present.
5. After the meeting, email each of the registrants the list of job opportunities and contact information.
Creating networking opportunities within your church for unemployed people will encourage church engagement and bless your givers.
Help with Lowered Income
Many people are experiencing income loss, they may still have a job, but their pay has been reduced. To help them process and adjust to this new reality, you should consider offering the following online classes:
1. Offer Financial Peace University for 50% off the regular cost, and for those that graduate give the 50% they paid back to them. Contact Ramsey Solutions for church specific pricing.
2. Budgeting Classes – work with financial experts at your church to host online budgeting classes that teach people how to adjust income to support lowered earnings.
Offer these classes to your givers that have reduced their giving over the last 90 days. You can easily see givers that have decreased their giving in MortarStone.
Help with Health Crisis
COVID-19 affects every area of our country, and many of us, unfortunately, know people that have suffered physically. As the church, we need to come alongside our givers and support them through these issues. Consider the following:
1. Have your prayer team reach out to all lapsed givers. Pull a 90-day lapsed giver report from MortarStone and connect with these givers.
2. Follow through! If an issue is identified, pray with these people, have a pastor contact them, and remind your volunteer to check back with them in two weeks.
3. Many churches have also set up online prayer submissions. These are great opportunities to connect with hurting people. Remember, you have to follow-through, connect, and support them. Good intentions with no follow-through will only discourage the person seeking help.
Let’s truly be the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus and start by showing with our faithful congregants our love and support. You will see higher engagement and increased blessings from these simple strategic initiatives.