As more and more parishioners opt to leave their cash and checkbooks at home, a handful of Middle Tennessee churches are turning from the tithing plate to machines that allow folks to use a card.
Emily and Justin Moses use debit and credit to pay for bills, groceries and, now, their church offering.
"It's an easy way to give," Justin Moses said.
Brentwood Baptist Church purchased one so-called "giving kiosk" about two years ago, and church leaders said it's primarily used by members in their 20s and 30s.
"When you talk to them about giving, they get their card and they go, 'OK.' And you pass them a plate or something, and there's nowhere to swipe," said the Rev. Mike Glenn, senior pastor at Brentwood Baptist Church.
Some church members didn't like the idea of escaping tradition, and others even called the kiosk tacky. But that all changed when church officials started punching the numbers.
They found giving had actually increased.
"About 20 percent of our budget comes from online and the kiosks," said the Rev. Brian Dodridge, associate executive pastor at Brentwood Baptist Church.
Fifteen other Midstate churches have bought into the "giving kiosks" through a company called Securegive, which serves about 1,000 congregations across the country.
At Brentwood Baptist, it's caught on so well the church has approved ordering a couple more.
"I don't ever bring an envelope to church anymore. I just push a couple buttons, and it's gone," Justin Moses said.
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Sunday, May 19 2013 6:27 PM EDT2013-05-19 22:27:30 GMT
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