From time to time a child of God will give an extra gift to the ministry of your church. Perhaps they sold some stock, or hit oil in the back yard, or realized how blessed they are in this life. God moves them to make a nice sized contribution. They may be thinking of giving it to the general fund, or a capital campaign underway for the children’s ministry.

Or sometimes we ask someone if they feel led to make a larger, one-time gift to our church. We are trying to shore up the general budget in a crisis, purchase a new piano, or begin an endowment for the youth ministry. Many times, people are more willing to give than we are to receive, but we have to ask them.

Thankfully, the gift comes. Usually we say thanks and put it in the bank. While there is nothing wrong with that, perhaps we could ask the giver, “Would you be OK with us using this as a matching gift?”

A matching gift is when we share with the congregation that someone will give us $2,500, if we can raise another $2,500 by next month. Or perhaps that someone will give us $10,000 if we can raise $5,000 by year end. Matching gifts are gifts that incentivize others to give. Matching gifts allow God to nudge someone closer toward being the generous person they were created to be.

Then there is the practical side of it. If I give a dollar, and someone will match it, it is the same as me giving two dollars, or three, or ten (depending on the size and ratio of the match). It just makes good sense to leverage more bang-for-the-buck in my giving. In my life I have often given when someone has offered to match my giving. I’ll bet you have, too.

God often uses believers to spur one another on in acts of faith, service, and giving. The urging of others has landed me in mission trips, youth camps, addiction support groups, choirs, and a host of blessings that God has brought into, and used through, my life. All because someone partnered with and encouraged me.

Make a match. You will be doing everyone a favor.

For support with your church’s stewardship and giving development, click here to contact your United Methodist Foundation or call us toll free at 877-391-8811.

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