Archive for July, 2017

This Week at Cross Church | Praise the Lord and Thank You, Cross Church

Ben Mayes-roundedCross Church Family, we say praise the Lord and THANK YOU for keeping FIRST THINGS FIRST this Summer. The Lord has blessed us with an absolutely incredible summer – impacting many lives for eternity. Because of His favor and giving your time, your talents, and your treasures, we have had a great summer so far – for the glory of God.  Please read these statements and celebrate and thank God for them:

  • 883 students and leaders from our communities attended Beach Camp with 175 salvations, 115 baptisms in the ocean, and 50 students surrendering to the ministry for Jesus – THANK YOU!
  • Over 2,200 children and adults participated in our Vacation Bible Xtreme gatherings and our staff is counseling the 123 children that came forward to trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior – THANK YOU!
  • 248 middle school students and leaders attended Camp Sky Ranch, with 43 making professions of faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior – THANK YOU!
  • 346 children and leaders attended our Kids Camp in Siloam Springs and 31 of those children were saved – THANK YOU!
  • Many people from all over our area attended Fireworks at the Crosses. We saw a spectacular fireworks show in the rain, and we witnessed 87 beautiful people follow Jesus Christ in believer’s baptism under our Crosses at Pinnacle Hills – THANK YOU!
  • We supported 10 new church plants in major cities across America – THANK YOU!
  • We had mission teams go to Haiti, Malawi, and San Francisco. And during those trips, many precious people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ – THANK YOU!
  • We impacted many lives in our local communities through our IMPACT ministries serving at eight sites across Northwest Arkansas, reaching 250 kids weekly – THANK YOU!
  • We held RADICAL outreach events and block parties where we fed hundreds and ministered the loving Gospel message to hundreds – THANK YOU!
  • Our Compassion Center and our jail ministry served hundreds this summer, and many lives were changed for eternity – THANK YOU!

The list goes on and on, all to the glory of God alone. There is still much more to do this summer!  We need each of us to stay engaged and involved for the remainder this summer. We need to continue to put FIRST THINGS FIRST!  So please do so through the continued sacrificial giving of your tithes, your time, and your talents.  We are slightly behind our Summer Program of Giving goal, and we all need to help meet that goal. Praise God for all He has used us to accomplish and again THANK YOU Cross Church, for keeping FIRST THINGS FIRST this Summer!

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Ben Mayes
Executive Leader of Finance and Shiloh

Guest Post | Ten Steps to a Better Offering, by Mark Brooks

Mark Brooks-roundedToday, welcomes guest writer, Mark Brooks. Mark is founding partner and President of The Charis Group. You can find out more about Mark and The Charis Group here.

“Just as we get going in worship, we have to stop and take up the offering!” That was the comment a staff member made a few years back when asked about the offering time at their church. It might not surprise you that with that attitude, giving had declined the year before at this church. That attitude permeates the Church today. To increase giving and givers, we must recognize that the offering IS worship!

If you are a pastor, how much time did you spend this week preparing for your message? When I was in seminary, we had a preaching professor that said for every minute you preached, you should spend one hour of preparation. While I know few pastors that put in that amount of time, we all prepare and pray over our message. Why? Because it is so important.

So, let me ask you. How much time and preparation have you put into this weekend’s offering? Most would have to answer none or very little. Is the offering not important? If you struggle to make the budget, it suddenly becomes very important. Is not the offering a part of worship? Since it is worship, should we not put at least some thought and preparation into it?

Most offering times in churches are one of the most boring moments of the service. The typical church offering has become a routine that we rarely, if ever, put any thought or action into. Is it any wonder giving is declining? Here are some thoughts about how to break out of that rut and make your offerings inspiring and more impactful.

1. Elevate the importance of the offering first with yourself and then the entire staff. Work to change the attitude that the offering is an inconvenience, and see it as an act of worship.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask people to give. Never apologize for the offering. The offering is a time of worship. We never apologize for letting people give as an act of worship.

3. Plan out every offering just like you plan out every message. Spend time every week thinking through how to best present the offering.

4. Change the format and positioning regularly. Every once in a while, do something different to break the routine.

5. Always give a stewardship message before the offering is taken up. Work to craft one-minute messages that underscore the importance of giving. Use the time the ushers come forward to make a case for the offering.

6. Utilize testimonies before the offering as a means of inspiration.  Laypeople expect you to tell them to give. When one of their peers talks about giving, they listen.

7. Use creative tools like video and skits to make the offering fun. There is a host of material out there. Use it. Be creative!

8. Always be positive with every offering appeal. Guilt never works, so don’t try to guilt people into giving.

9. Cast a compelling reason as to why people should give. People give to that which makes a difference. Tell them how their gift matters, and they will give.

10. Regularly tell people what their gifts have accomplished and thank them for their gifts. Blow your own horn. Link the offering to the ministries the church is doing. People give to success! People also like to be thanked. Never take your donors for granted.

I believe if you will incorporate these ten steps, your offerings will dramatically pick up. Work and plan to make your offerings anything but boring!

Mark Brooks
President, The Charis Group

No one in America has written more on giving than Mark Brooks, The Stewardship Coach, writing weekly offering talks at  You can follow him on Twitter at @StewardshipMan or check out his blog at