A few weeks ago I wrote here about our first-time-ever challenge to have everyone in the church tithe on one weekend. Our giving went up 123% that one weekend, more than 600 new families participated, and it helped us recover from a budget deficit.
I mentioned at that time that we wouldn't know if the weekend challenge was a "success" until we saw whether a number of people began to change their habits on tithe ongoing. I said that I was praying for a 25% increase in weekly offerings.
It's a little early to compare apples to apples since the weekends since have been during the traditionally-lower-attended summer months, but so far we are up 11.1% in weekly giving on average. If we just consider summer weekends comparing the six weekends prior to the challenge with the four weekends since, we are up 17.8% per week. And comparing to the same four weekends last year, we are up 25.7%.
I'm very happy with these numbers. I think they will only improve as people begin to return to church this fall.
Remember, it's not about money. It's about people's hearts. One of the only tangible pictures that Jesus left us to figure out the condition of someone's heart is to look at where they invest their money.