When I need cash, I often hit up my one of my sons. Why? Because I rarely go to a bank since my paycheck is deposited directly into my checking account, and I rarely go to an ATM to get cash. Since most places accept a debit or credit card, and I pay bills and make contributions online, I rarely have a need to carry cash or a checkbook. Last month, I wrote two checks a month. Rarely do I write more than five. I love autopay and online giving. It simplifies my life and ensures that obligations I have and pledges I make are fulfilled.
Recently, I was approached by the treasurer of the Soccer Booster Club to pay my son’s soccer dues. He pulled out his iPad and asked, “Could we take care of your payment right now?” After making payment, I asked him how this payment setup was working for him. He stated, “It’s been a night and day difference in trying to obtain payments from families. Parents never seemed to have their checkbooks with them, and rarely did they have enough cash. Even though they could go online and make payment its seemed like it was always a challenge to get people to do so. Once we made easy for them to give on the spot, my job has been a piece of cake.”Most congregations I visit seem to invite people to give spontaneously to various giving opportunities. The only opportunity that received more than a few bucks from me (what was left in my pocket), was one that accepted payments for Habitat For Humanity via the Square payment system.
I often wonder if I would have been a more frequent and generous giver I was given opportunities to donate in ways that didn’t require cash or a check. Is it time for congregations to reconsider how they can make it easier for people to give joyfully, generously and consistently to ministries that grow faith and build God’s kingdom?