ALVARADO, TEX. – When Texas Conference church buildings closed this past March, church leaders had to figure out a new way to present programs. They also had to offer church members and guests an alternative way to return their tithes and give offerings.
Knowing their faithful members knew the importance of systematic giving and with the reality that the local church still had bills to pay, such as a mortgage and utilities, it was imperative to provide options.
For those churches already offering the AdventistGiving online option, it was an easy transition. Surprisingly, though, more than 200 Texas Conference churches were not. At that point, Texas Conference Communication and Public Relations launched a quick mini campaign, #TexasGive, providing awareness about AdventistGiving.
AdventistGiving provides a digital tithe envelope for Seventh-day Adventist churches in North America. In 2018, the AdventistGiving app made it even easier to return tithes and give offerings.
“We recognized the trends years ago, and since 2007, AdventistGiving.org has been a service of the North American Division to any church in the U.S., [Guam, Micronesia] and Canada to allow for tithe and offerings to be given electronically online with a credit card or eCheck,” Gordon Harty, North American Division (NAD) Web application developer in Columbia, Maryland, shared in the release for the app written by Kimberly Luste Maran, associate director for NAD Office of Communication.
Simply search “Adventist Giving” on any Apple or Android device to download the app with the hand as shown in the bottom right picture.
The service is free to the local church and the user, and the church can customize the digital tithe envelope to include specific church projects and ministries. Users are also able to set recurring giving selections. Fees are covered by the conference, union and the NAD.
It was a stressful time for church treasurers, conference treasury staff and the AdventistGiving team as thousands of churches scrambled to sign up for AdventistGiving as church buildings were closing all across the United States. At the time of this writing, 259 Texas Conference churches are enrolled in AdventistGiving, an increase of more than 150 in just a few weeks.
That was helpful to many, but there were still members and guests who were not able to or preferred not to use AdventistGiving, so church leaders had to provide other options.
One church provided church-addressed envelopes, so checks could be mailed to the church.
Other churches provided drive-thru offering times, which gave pastors and elders a time to pray with members while still observing social distancing.
Some church leaders provided personal home pick-up times, especially for those members not able to leave their homes for various reasons.
“Churches depend on their members and guests to help them survive and ultimately thrive,” Randall B. Terry, Texas Conference treasurer, said. “I want to acknowledge our members and guests who faithfully give to advance God’s work in Texas and around the world, as well as our local church treasurers and conference treasury staff who worked tirelessly to process the AdventistGiving applications so quickly.”
Francisco Pollock, Texas Conference associate treasurer, created instructions in English and Spanish to help treasurers enroll in AdventistGiving. You can find those videos at texasadventist.org/churchauditing.
As Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “God loves a cheerful giver.”
By Tamara Michalenko Terry
Communication and Public Relations