NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Better service and heightened stewardship were cited as key factors by LifeWay Envelope Service in renewing for the fourth consecutive time its relationship with its partner company, AmericanChurch, headquartered in Boardman, Ohio.
Approximately 9,000 churches use more than 4,711,000 sets of envelopes annually provided by LifeWay Envelope Service, a ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The 177,598,214 envelopes shipped each year include boxed sets, mailing programs and bulk orders for churches of all sizes. Last year the service responded to more than 20,000 telephone requests.
AmericanChurch is only the second provider of envelopes since the service was begun approximately 40 years ago.
Ron Chandler, manager of the direct sales section for LifeWay, said, “While AmericanChurch has been our exclusive supplier for custom envelope products and programs for the past 16 years, recent changes have positioned them to serve Southern Baptist churches in an even better way. The company is investing more than $2 million in digital printing and postal machinery, which will get a better product to our customers even faster and with higher quality.”
Wanda Simpson, president of AmericanChurch, said, “The relationship between AmericanChurch and LifeWay ensures that every Southern Baptist Church has access to and receives the very best resources necessary to support their stewardship program for ongoing financial success and stability.”
LifeWay offers custom products for any church setting — bulk for the churches which want to place envelopes in the pews, boxed sets for churches which hand out a full year’s worth of envelopes at the beginning of each year and mailing programs for churches that are growing and want to stabilize their contribution income. The mailing programs provide custom sets of envelopes mailed to the church members’ homes monthly, bimonthly or quarterly. The sets may contain envelopes for special offerings such as the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon missions offerings or a building fund, among others.
Chandler said surveys show that, on average, churches that change to the mailing program will see an increase of 9 percent in contributions during the first year of using this service.
“Children’s envelopes are becoming very popular,” he added. “We have several designs available. One popular design is Bible Trivia, which has a Bible question and answer printed on every envelope for each Sunday of the year. We have introduced a new boxed set for youth, under the title, ‘What Would Jesus Do?'”
Simpson added that “studies show church members who use offering envelopes tend to give more each week, and that the percentage of weekly income received from envelopes is far greater than that received from loose offerings. Offering envelopes serve as a visual reminder of each member’s commitment to tithing and subtly encourage members to be obedient to their commitments. They also encourage all members to contribute.”
She added that offering envelopes provide a level of confidentiality between individuals or families and the church, make recording contributions easier for budgeting purposes and for income tax records.
“As a symbol of membership, offering envelopes promote a sense of belonging among members,” Simpson continued. “Every time the offering is taken, those familiar envelopes pass before everyone’s eyes as the offering plate or basket is passed around. And although they may not consciously realize it, the children and youth of your church are learning good stewardship habits as they watch their parents and their friends’ parents regularly and consistently place envelopes in the offering plate.”
LifeWay Envelope Service also offers custom outreach products, such as visitor packets and door hangers, along with custom new member welcome packets.
A recently updated Internet site, www.lifewaystores.com/envelopes.asp, offers churches the ability to place orders online. E-mail communication with the service may be addressed to: [email protected] Free LifeWay Envelope Service Catalog and information by telephone may be obtained by calling toll-free 1-800-874-6319 or by placing a request at the website.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. Photo title: OFFERING.