Beginning weeks before Black Friday, we are inundated with advertising encouraging us as consumers to spend money. The amount of money spent on Black Friday this year is estimated to be around $500 per person!
In response to this intense spending, a movement was started to create one day dedicated to giving back. #GivingTuesday was created in 2012 to provide awareness and opportunities to give to charitable organizations both with time and finances. Now, every year the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people kick off the holiday season by giving back to their community.
As we head into the Christmas season, #GivingTuesday is a great way to turn our focus toward generosity. There are so many opportunities to give, but #GivingTuesday is a great time as a church to look at corporate giving.
Some churches set a goal for their congregation to give toward a specific focus, for example, a new playground for their children’s ministry, renovations on their youth building, or new flooring in their fellowship hall. Other churches have used the power of corporate giving to meet one specific need in their community or on the mission field, such as purchasing new tables and chairs for the local homeless shelter or digging a well in another country.
Another way churches participate in #GivingTuesday is by highlighting certain charities in their community and encouraging their members to give to those organizations. By partnering with other organizations in this way, it greatly increases awareness, as well as giving back to the community.
Encouraging members to not only financially give but providing opportunities for them to volunteer with these organizations is another great way to participate in #GivingTuesday. Churches can use the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to organize a variety of volunteer opportunities for members. This service event will hopefully open doors for volunteers to connect with charities that they may become involved with in the future on a regular basis.
#GivingTuesday is about far more than raising dollars. It is about shifting the focus from consumerism to generosity. It is about bringing individuals and churches together to bless our communities and to be blessed in return. We have all heard the saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” but the truth is that when we give we do receive.
Hopefully, your church will find its own unique way to participate in #GivingTuesday this year, and December 3rd can be the beginning of a tradition for your congregation. A tradition where your church gets excited about giving and looks forward each year to finding new ways to be generous to your community.