We’ve done several 90-Day Tithing Challenges in our 20-year history. Overall I would say they have been very effective.
“Effective at what?” you ask.
Giving increases and, more importantly, giving at the end of the challenge is sustained at a higher level than when the challenge began. In other words, many people start tithing and continue to tithe after the conclusion of the challenge.
Here’s how it goes:
- Every November, we do a 3-week stewardship series. They’re all pretty much the same content with a different theme each year. The first week is on getting out of debt. The second week is on saving money. And the third week is on tithing.
- There’s usually a push for people to sign up for a class (Financial Peace University, etc.) as well as a banquet on a Sunday night. It’s usually the Sunday night of the first week of the series. We have everyone wear the jersey of their favorite sports team and bring a dessert to share. We can usually get 450-500 of the most committed CCVers to attend, along with some new people. Brian gets up and does a vision-casting message for about 45 minutes during the banquet. Of course, there’s live music, funny videos, etc. as well.
- In the 3rd week of the series, we ask people to take the 90-day challenge. The ushers hand out response cards; a small stack is given to the person at the end of each row. It’s important that everyone has to “take one and pass it down,” so everyone has to at least touch one. If they’re in the program, many won’t get them out to consider the challenge, or they might drop them (along with the communication card and other response cards) in the offering bowl when it’s passed, always before the message.
We are so confident that God will deliver as promised, the challenge itself is a “money-back guarantee.” People are asked to tithe (actually give 10% of their income to the church) for 90-days. If at the end of the 90-days, God hasn’t worked in their life and they’ve realized that they didn’t even miss the money and are actually better off financially, we will refund their money. Of course, we put money in reserve each week of the challenge to make sure we can make good on the commitment.