We are excited to share with you some very honest case studies how Generous has helped churches in their giving. This is especially pertinent during these challenging times.
Here is an interview with Jim McMillan the overseeing pastor from Genesis Church in Maryborough and Ballarat.
Tell us about Genesis Church?
We are a one fellowship two campus church in country Central Victoria, the Goldfields district. We have around 200 people on our books combined, kids and adults. Our Maryborough campus is the base and reaches deep into our community through chaplaincy and school programs. Ballarat is a relatively new campus.
What’s the demographic mix of the two campuses?
We are mostly on the boomer-side of 50 [50-80yo] with lots of faithful older followers of Jesus. However, we have been intentionally reaching out to families and younger people and have a great relationship with the local footy clubs.
How did you hear about Generous?
We actually heard about Generous two years ago and signed up but until recently didn’t take the need as seriously as we do now due to Covid-19.
How has Coronavirus changed things?
It wasn’t that we didn’t know we needed to change our approach to giving and communication and living out the kingdom. It’s just that Coronavirus has forced us to address these things urgently. Even though we’re an older church we knew we had to change our giving and empower online. Our Millenials and under 50’s get it. If we don’t change we will die.
That’s interesting that you say we will die. Explain that thought?
We will get left behind if we don’t change! If Coronavirus has shown me anything it is that we need to be ahead of the game not behind it. We have to get online. We have to help our people connect with us online. As well as be present and visible in our community we see our church website central to our community life now. People we meet in the community can get a feel for our faith community without having to walk in on Sunday. That is powerful! And, critical if we don’t change. I don’t think it’s that hard, it’s more about being intentional and not lazy.
Why is your website “central”?
During Covid-19 it’s where we want people stay in touch, get information, give, view, read or receive preaching of God’s word. We’re using a church management tool for communications and events. A podcast tool, Podbean. Generous for giving and WordPress for our website content management.
We’ve wanted this for the past few years but now, we’ve been forced to act. I’m sure when Covid-19 is over our website will continue to play a key role with our sermons, resources, pastoral care, communication, teaching and even engaging our community. We know we’ve just got to reach beyond our Sunday service.
What have you learnt about giving online and Generous?
If you don’t continually tell people how to give, reinforce online giving they just won’t do it. It’s not normal. We are so traditionally wired to put money in a bag each Sunday. So I encourage everyone to email your congregation twice a week. Share a message. Point people to your website where you have a blog message for everyone including your community. You just don’t know who is reading it! Put a button or link beside it pointing to give online. You have to communicate it and reinforce it because it’s just not natural to people – especially our older people.
Has it made a difference?
We were a bit worried that we weren’t going to have much income, but while its only early, a few weeks now, our giving looks like it’s even higher than normal. Our people are very generous and the regular messaging seems to help.
Thanks Jim. For those who want to visit and see you church where do they go?
We’re here for you church leader! Please email [email protected] and we will assist you with your questions and help you get going straight away.