Swipe, click, scroll: sometimes everything we do feels like it’s mediated by a screen. At times, life can quickly grow mechanic, detached, or impersonal. In a world where we pay bills, book flights, and buy groceries online, should we give that way too?
It's a question that's often followed up by more questions, like:
- Does text and online giving detract from the intimate experience of worship?
- How do we take advancements in technology and use them to advance the Church?
- How do we keep giving personal in a digital world?
We think that, as with a lot of things, the intention behind something will inform its function—technology is no different.
Some technologies are personal. That might seem like a laughable oxymoron—“personal technology”—but what if it were true?
We designed Smart Giving with intention, an intention to preserve the sacredness of worship because giving isn't a transaction. Unlike other services, when it comes time to tithe, you won’t be asked to add “missions” or the “building fund” to your cart and proceed to “checkout.” You'll navigate with a few taps on the thing you keep closest for longest: your phone.
...Giving online for me is too much like paying a bill. I put in my information, I set my amount to be paid each month and then walk away. It’s forgotten. Sure, the church gets my offering, but I no longer have a connection to it. For me, it becomes an obligation rather than an act of worship. This past Sunday, I tried out text giving just for fun. But something unexpected happened. As I was putting in the phone number, creating a new contact, and adding my debit card info, I experienced a sense of joy and satisfaction. Was the church still getting charged a fee for this? Yes. So, why was this different? It’s because texting is personal. I text all the time with the people that God has brought into my life. We share joy, sorrow, and need with the click of a keyboard. As I sent off my giving text into digital space, I was thanking the Lord for the finances He had given me. I was worshipping Him for His continued love and provision for me. It was personal.