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You may not realize it when you walk into a church service, but a lot of planning had to happen in order to run the service. It’s far more than just having the Pastor of the church study for a message and then preach it. There are so many things that go on behind the scenes, and not just in larger churches. Any size church puts a lot of thought into the logistics of running the service. For instance, they need to plan on when to start the service, what worship songs to play, how many songs to play, who will play the songs, where should the announcements be announced, who will announce them, what handouts are needed, what should be included in the bulletin, make sure parking attendants and ushers are bringing people in smoothly, and how to coordinate that the children’s ministry ends around the same time that the adult service ends.

It’s a lot to think about, but it all gets planned out ahead of time in order to be effective in running the service. Another important thing that is thought of during these planning stages is when, if ever, to take the offering. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to doing it, but many churches have found it helpful to take it before the sermon starts. Here are 5 positives to taking the offering before the sermon.

1. Can be done during announcements

Sometimes announcements can provide a great flow for the offering. When the music fades or ends altogether, the person doing the announcements can tell the church members that people will be coming around with the offering basket (or however your church does it). While the offering is being taken, the person giving the announcements can continue saying whatever needs to be announced.

2. Another part of worship

The offering is not just a way to keep the church financially afloat. It’s another way to worship the Lord. You can say that having the structure of music, offering, sermon provides a threefold way of worshiping God during the service.

3. Most people will be there

If you take the offering at the very beginning of service, you run the risk of having latecomers miss out on giving an offering. On the other hand, if you take it at the end of the sermon, many people could have gone to pick up their children or get out a little sooner. So, having the offering taken right after the music and before the sermon can provide you with the greatest number of people present.

4. It’s a way of responding to the worship music

The same argument can be applied to doing the offering after the sermon, definitely, but it’s valid here as well. Worshiping through songs can be very powerful, but often very abstract. By this I mean that there is nothing truly practical going on—you can live out your faith without singing, but it’s pretty hard to live out your faith without being generous. As such, the worship music can soften hearts and put them in the right place, which prompts people to be generous to the very God who has been generous to them.

5. The pastor doesn’t have to be the one to announce the offering

Many newcomers (or even regular attendees) can be skeptical of a church asking for their money. When the offering is taken after the sermon, it’s usually the pastor that has to announce that the basket is coming around or where you can leave your offering in the church. This can often make people feel uncomfortable. However, taking the offering before the sermon allows an easy yet very smooth way of announcing it, a different person can easily tell the congregation; most likely whomever does the announcements. You never want to get into a place where the pastor of a church is consistently talking about and asking people for more money. It’s just safer if someone else asks for it. And, isn’t there some type of saying about it being better to be safe than sorry?


Structuring an entire church service can be difficult, but it’s necessary. The thoughts that go into taking the offering and timing it out are important, too. It’s a part of the entire church service and it should not be separate or thought of as a side-note. So, what does your particular church do? How do you collect the offering and when do you collect it? It’d be great to hear from you! Just leave a comment below to let me know.

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