A donor walks through your doors for the 3rd Sunday in a row. He likes the message, the volunteers greet him with a smile, the coffee is better than Folgers, and he knows at least three people by name. It's safe to say that this individual is assimilated into the Church, or at least he is almost there (excellent work!).
The Associate Pastor gets on the stage and gives a fiery message about the widow's offering. The buckets are passed, the text-to-give number flashes on the screen (faster than anyone can remember), and now it's on to the sermon. Does this sound familiar?
What's unique about this story and what goes unseen is that our main character, who walked through this Church's doors, has only $10 in his wallet. However, he has 1M in digital currencies like Bitcoin & Ethereum and $5M in other assets, including real estate. What if Churches not only accepted all types of donations but led the way in asking for them?
We can all agree the point Jesus was making in the passage was more about the attitude of the heart and truly trusting God with what he has blessed us with. We get the opportunity to give back what already belongs to God and steward it to the best of our ability. But what if God did something in someone's heart while sitting in your Church, and you robbed them of the opportunity to give because you weren't equipped or you didn't ask?
If Jesus were to enter the Church today, would he say, "Why haven't you made it easy for my children to give anything they have or, like the widow, everything they have?".
I was able to chat with Brian Davis, who is the Digital Communication Director at ONE&ALL Church. ONE&ALL is a quickly growing Church just outside of LA with a heart to be the leader in technology and leverage new technology to connect to their community.
Brian has recently taken on the role of learning everything there is about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. From launching the acceptance of crypto assets with Engiven to joining a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) where he can connect with other developers working in the web3 space. These phrases may seem new to you, but it's connecting technology to the Gospel in which Brian finds passion.
Rather than waiting for technology to become mainstream and then scrambling to stay relevant, he is actively learning and educating his team on why it's so important to stay ahead of the game.
"The Church has far too often fallen behind due to fear of new technology and has lost out on the opportunity to connect with the next generation. I remember the hesitation a decade ago as to whether or not churches should be present on social media and the hesitation the decade before that as to whether churches should have a website. It pains me to think of the opportunity lost due to the fear of these new spaces. Churches are closing their doors all over the world and now more than ever we need leaders to get ahead of the curve on adopting new technology. I would love to see The Church lay the groundwork for blockchain technology now so that we are more than prepared when mass adoption occurs. "
If you find yourself saying, "what do I do next? How is there enough time in a day to educate myself in this space, especially when technology is advancing so quickly?" The simple answer is to start somewhere. Join a webinar. Ask a lay leader or even an intern to research and help your team understand what the next generation will live with.
One of my favorite quotes is from Pastor Craig Groeschel, "We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don't know Christ." I believe that should be everyone's mindset when leading God's people. The challenge is great, but the reward is immeasurable. If you want more resources, please don't hesitate to reach out!
About Engiven: Engiven believes cryptocurrency is a valuable asset that can benefit the nonprofit community. We've developed a platform that helps nonprofits, ministries, and enterprise-level organizations accept cryptocurrency donations to help fund their causes.
Engiven provides a safe and easy path for a 501c3 nonprofit to get set up quickly, receive crypto donations, and exchange them for fiat (US dollars). Our system verifies the gift on the blockchain and sends the proceeds via bank ACH as a direct deposit into the nonprofit's bank account. Engiven's proprietary software helps also aids in tax reporting. We provide 8282 and 8283 tax form automation.
Engiven's founders have a lifelong passion for living at the intersection of technology and doing good. Engiven's founders have collaborated on numerous companies and a wide range of technology products with diverse skills. Most recently, they developed Mogiv, an early-to-market online giving application acquired in 2016. Now, with the emergence of blockchain-based technologies, they have developed Engiven.
We'd love to connect if you'd like a free demo of our crypto donation platform. Please give us a way to reach you by filling out this form.
About the Author: Ryan stays busy in Minnesota with his wife and five kids (four boys and one girl). Most of their time is spent outdoors on the lake, engaging in sports and hosting friends. They have a heart for the local Church and seeing leaders become better. Ryan has a background in ministry and was responsible for building and implementing all systems for administration, fundraising, marketing, finance, human resources, supply, and facilities management. He often reflects on how Jesus came to serve and not be served and what it would look like if everyone lived that way.
About Brian Davis: He lives in La Verne, California, with his wife and two young daughters. He loves hanging out with his family, whether it is a bike ride downtown or a trip to Disneyland. He's worked at ONE&ALL Church for over 16 years in audio/video, service production, communications, and digital technology roles. Besides learning about blockchain technology, he enjoys learning with and assisting other churches that use the Rock RMS church management system.