Postmodern Tithing: the Giving Kiosk

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toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Check this thing out.... tithing by credit card? How much easier can it get? Isn't this a great thing? Now if you happen to forget your wallet at home, you can just swipe your visa! I bet this nets the church more money, too!

The Giving Kiosk: Website and Introductory Video

and from their site:
The Church tithing process must keep up with the next generation of tithing. GivingKIOSK has streamlined that operation with the latest in SAAS technology, making it safe and secure.

Too many Church organizations do not have the convenience of paying by credit card or debit and losing the ability to capture Tithes and Offerings that the church may not have otherwise received. Checks are on the decline and the Church community needs a way to keep up with the changing landscape of the younger generation. GivingKIOSK was developed and designed to meet this need.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
People will love this, they get their cashback bonus or other incentive to use their card. What they don't realize is how much this actually will remove from the Church budget. Would you take a .5%-5% paycut for convenience?
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know about a kiosk but the idea of tithing online would, it seems to me, appeal to those churches who frown on the 'pass the plate' format.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I don't know about a kiosk but the idea of tithing online would, it seems to me, appeal to those churches who frown on the 'pass the plate' format.
A former congregation I was part of investigated online giving and the fees can get quite steep depending on where the funds come from. If you use debit accounts or draft accounts it is small, but if the credit line is tapped the fee is higher. I would imagine a kiosk will take a little more because they have to maintain the machinery instead of you. As far as passing the plate, the old drop box suffices for me :) .
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
I see this as interesting but not wrong in any way. In fact, I like this system more than passing the plate. It will save time and also prevent people from any sort of pride they might otherwise have by putting something in the tray each week. The giving would be in private.

Am I wrong in this thought?
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know about a kiosk but the idea of tithing online would, it seems to me, appeal to those churches who frown on the 'pass the plate' format.
A former congregation I was part of investigated online giving and the fees can get quite steep depending on where the funds come from. If you use debit accounts or draft accounts it is small, but if the credit line is tapped the fee is higher. I would imagine a kiosk will take a little more because they have to maintain the machinery instead of you. As far as passing the plate, the old drop box suffices for me :) .
My point is that if you believe giving should be as close to 'the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing' then donating online would be even better than a drop box. If you give online there is no chance that you would be drawing attention to yourself.

It seems to me that a kiosk, depending upon where it is located, would bring more attention to the giver than passing the plate.
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
PayPal for Christ?

Actually, this isn't so bad. The younger generation is used to doing just about everything online, and tithing shouldn't be different in this regard. I'd hate to be the one who declares that "no, you must drop into the plate/bag" guy, which to me is more of a 'you must adhere to tradition' position. After all, did the widow's mite come from a plate, or was it an offering given in a 'passer's by' method?

Theognome
 

Abd_Yesua_alMasih

Puritan Board Junior
I never carry cash so passing the bowl around or being able to swipe a card sounds like a good idea.

On the other hand you could have a 10cents piece of paper with the church account number on it and I could deposit the money when home.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
It is not a bad idea IF people give more than they normally would to cover the expenses that will be deducted from the offering. Your normal 100.00 gift will likely only be 95.00 once the church receives the money.
 

sgtdabney

Puritan Board Freshman
I certainly won't make the claim that they are doing anything wrong. IT just seems kind of...tacky. That is just a personal opinion, folks. I think the direct deposit idea is really good. I'd do that if we could.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
There are many ways to look at this and each congregation may look at this in terms of their own history and needs of their people. It does not seem there is a biblical prohibition against using technology to collect offerings.

Our congregation has had a custom for a long time (a custom, not a rule) not to "pass the plate." This has some advantages including eliminating one stumbling block for nonbelievers who would think church is only about money. Practically, it allows 5 more minutes for God's Word, sacrament and prayer during the service.

Those unbelievers, of course need to understand their sin in coveting and denying God's recognition over everything they think they have, but the elimination of the practice seems to have worked well. I do not think it would work in every congregation, members need to have a level of understanding of the basic part tithes and offerings have in the life of a Christian to make this work.

There is nothing wrong with "passing the plate" for offerings. It might even be good to treat the act of giving offerings a spiritual act during corporate worship, also.

As far as not passing the plate and having a kiosk, one might consider how detached a person might become in the process- I have heard of a church's choosing to not have automatic checking account debits for this reason.

Would seeing a VISA/MASTERCARD logo have a negative impact on visitors, nonbelievers, or those struggling with materialism? Maybe.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It is not a bad idea IF people give more than they normally would to cover the expenses that will be deducted from the offering. Your normal 100.00 gift will likely only be 95.00 once the church receives the money.
That is my whole objection. Also, speaking as a treasurer, there will probably be a whole bunch of extra forms to deal with myself and for the financial secretary. We may also have to purchase software from the vendor to be able to receive transmitted statements each week.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Since some of these churches look like the inside of a mall or hotel to begin with, having a kiosk isn't too big of a stretch... :rolleyes:

Actually, the only real problem I would have is the cost-to-process. The person is giving X amount of money to the church (and ultimately God), but the processing company is automatically taking a certain amount off the top. I'm really not sure everyone quite realizes that is happening.

The church I currently pastor tried the drop box method before I got here. After a week or two, there was such an uproar that they stopped the experiment. Some traditions (the offering place, e.g.) are hard to break.
 

EricP

Puritan Board Freshman
As an older guy who's got the "Freshman" stamp after his name, I guess I'll volunteer to be the fly in the ointment Luddite here and suggest that "Credit Cards for Christ" is beyond tacky. The opinion from the "kiosk" (a really friendly name, suggesting a place to get your Starbucks after the service) website that "the Church community needs a way to keep up with the changing landscape of the younger generation" is spurious and unproven--in fact it seems that mainline denominations here in the US that are struggling to keep up with that landscape, and the culture generally, are falling apart as they fall deeper and deeper into sin. I suspect there are many other ways of properly tithing and donating to a church that keep each hand from knowing what the other is doing, without having to involve credit card companies, technology sales, PayPal, and bar-code readers. Aren't there areas where the church is meant to fly in the face of current culture? In many ways, hasn't the past 100 years of cultural adaptation been harmful to the Christian church? Since I believe in part the tithe is one of God's ways of helping us money-controlled men and women learn that God really owns everything, and knows what to do with our pennies better than we do, and that by physically giving up of what we have to Him as we worship in a body of His people, perhaps this is one of those areas where cultural adaptation might have harmful present and future consequences.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
SIDEBAR- Isn't the left not knowing about the right in reference to alms? There is nothing wrong with cheerful giving...and letting others know you are happy to give............just not how much for bragging rights.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
It is not a bad idea IF people give more than they normally would to cover the expenses that will be deducted from the offering. Your normal 100.00 gift will likely only be 95.00 once the church receives the money.
Direct deposit debit transactions (at least with my bank) cost me nothing. What is the normal cost?

If one has a regular income, doing 10% direct deposit is a great idea.
 

Houston E.

Puritan Board Freshman
The Giving Kiosk: Website and Introductory Video
:eek: Don't you guys know this is just one more step in moving to a cashless society enabling the anti-Christ to force you to take the mark of the beast?


;)
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
The debit/credit transaction does not cost the one making the purchase (at least not directly; however, it might factor into the price of an item in a store), but ordinarily there is a fee charged to the "merchant" (the church in this case).
 

CredoFidoSpero

Puritan Board Freshman
There are many ways to look at this and each congregation may look at this in terms of their own history and needs of their people. It does not seem there is a biblical prohibition against using technology to collect offerings.

Our congregation has had a custom for a long time (a custom, not a rule) not to "pass the plate." This has some advantages including eliminating one stumbling block for nonbelievers who would think church is only about money. Practically, it allows 5 more minutes for God's Word, sacrament and prayer during the service.

Those unbelievers, of course need to understand their sin in coveting and denying God's recognition over everything they think they have, but the elimination of the practice seems to have worked well. I do not think it would work in every congregation, members need to have a level of understanding of the basic part tithes and offerings have in the life of a Christian to make this work.

There is nothing wrong with "passing the plate" for offerings. It might even be good to treat the act of giving offerings a spiritual act during corporate worship, also.

As far as not passing the plate and having a kiosk, one might consider how detached a person might become in the process- I have heard of a church's choosing to not have automatic checking account debits for this reason.

Would seeing a VISA/MASTERCARD logo have a negative impact on visitors, nonbelievers, or those struggling with materialism? Maybe.
Our church does have a drop box, but we also "pass the plate" (baskets, actually :) ), but that is our time sharing prayer needs in the congregation and praying corporately. And the pastor always makes it clear that the offering is for members, not visitors. And I really like that at the end it gives us a chance as a church to pray over the offering, to commit the money to God and pray for wisdom and good stewardship in using it. Really, the focus of the time it take to pass the baskets is all on prayer, not giving money.

We meet in a school, so a kiosk would be impractical. I'm not sure I can say a kiosk is a bad idea, but I would feel odd using one. I do like the direct deposit idea, though.
 
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