I’m all about convenience.
When given the option of ordering pizza for dinner or picking it up on the way home, I’ll always order. My car doesn’t have time for crank down windows. I’m an Amazon Prime member because who has time to wait more than 2 days for something they bought online?
When it comes to the conveniences and luxuries of life I’m all for them.
But what I know is that most of those conveniences come at a cost. With Pizza there’s a $2.50 delivery fee plus the tip you leave for the driver. Ordering a movie On Demand costs double the cost of driving to the nearest Redbox.
I understand that and make that decision willingly to afford myself a few extra minutes with my family, or if I’m being honest because I’m just flat out lazy some days.
Over the past decade I’ve started seeing more and more churches accept credit and debit cards as a method for receiving tithes and offerings.
It’s not to the point where they’re passing a digital offering plate down the aisle where you just swipe your card (although I’m sure that exists somewhere.) But at most major churches around the country, you can find self service kiosks to swipe your card, enter the amount you wish to give, and do your giving this way.
Churches also have setup to receive your giving by a card through their websites.
Wow! We don’t have to remember the checkbook or grab cash from our bank the day before. Plus if you’ve got a rewards credit card, you’ll get reward points for giving! Yay! Reward points and Jesus! It’s super convenient and sure can make that part of our life easier.
But giving isn’t supposed to be convenient or easy. It’s supposed to be a sacrifice. It’s a part of worship and an outward display of our acknowledgement that God owns every aspect of our life, including our finances. And when we make giving a convenience or something that seems easy, or put an opportunity for reward points because of our generosity,we’re crippling the point of giving in the first place.
I accept debit cards as the primary form of payment for my business. Over 90% of my sales are done online, so it’s just part of daily operations for me. But with accepting those cards comes an expense. I’m a rather small business so it costs me about 3% of each transaction to process those cards.
When churches accept cards because it’s an added convenience for their members, it becomes a huge expense item in their operating budget. If your church takes in $10M a year in credit/debit card giving and they pay 2% to process those transactions, they are spending $200,000 a year just to receive their offerings.
How many children that are under-resourced in your local community could receive school supplies for $200,000? How many local families could your church feed if they didn’t have to pay card processing fees?
When we make our church giving a mere convenience it waters down the significance of giving and cripples the churches ability to make an impact. Stop relying on convenience and remember to bring your checkbook.