SBTC Annual Meeting 2019

Praise the Lord & Pass the Plate

March 3rd, 2017 / By: Diana Davis / comments

Praise the Lord & Pass the Plate

Joyful giving of tithes and offerings is an important part of worship, but methods can be quite diverse. In some churches, people stand, singing praises to God as the plate is passed; in others, they sit in reverence, with lovely background music. Offerings may be received at the beginning, middle or end of worship. Some churches use baskets, bags, bowls or offering plates. I was in a Texas church that received the offering by passing a cowboy boot! Still others receive the offering in a stationery container at the exit.  

Churches often intentionally recruit a wide variety of ushers—different ages, race, personality and clothing style. It’s a great “entry level” ministry to involve mature Christians with new believers and new members. The offering ushers can set a joyful attitude. Frowns are not required. Second Corinthians 9 instructs us to give our tithes and offerings cheerfully and with overflowing joy. 

Need some fresh ideas as you prepare for next Sunday’s offering? Try some of these: 

  • Pass the plate to every person—to crowded rows, rows with one person, choir, even children. I’ve been in three different churches recently where I had to flag down the usher to put my offering in the plate! Do your ushers unintentionally make it difficult to give? Train them to joyfully and unapologetically pass the plate, allowing every person the opportunity to give.
  • Reaffirm God’s instructions for giving by displaying an appropriate Scripture on the screen during offertory and reading aloud together. For example: “Now therefore, our God, we give You thanks and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your own hand.” 1 Chronicles 29:13-14. 
  • Alert the congregation a few minutes before the offering will be received. Plan the worship service so people are seated briefly beforehand so they’re easily prepared.
  • Unapologetically remind the people how God uses those gifts to change lives and impact your community and world for Christ. Mention current church ministries and collaboration through Southern Baptist Cooperative Program.  
  • Offer options for those who prefer online giving. Use your church app or website. Some may use their bank’s free online bill-pay option. One church prints laminated cards, inserted behind the pew offering envelopes, with online giving instructions and a note: “If you give online and would like to participate in giving during worship, please place this card in the offering basket.”

A Christian’s voluntary, joyful giving of tithes and offerings demonstrates personal faith in God, obedience to his instruction, and firm belief that everything we have is from him. So praise the Lord and pass the plate!  

—Diana Davis is an author, columnist and minister’s wife. Contact her at or