Summer has arrived. Typically our communities of faith make changes to their schedules this time of year: some committees don’t meet in July, certain programming is suspended until the fall, and many alter their Sunday morning routines by combining services or having fewer Sunday School offerings.
But this has certainly not been a typical year, and won’t be a typical summer. So we encourage you to consider some atypical behavior this season, specifically in the area of stewardship. Rather than waiting until the fall, a time of year when lots of churches focus on financial stewardship, focus on stewardship (all aspects of it) right now and year round! Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Think about the 3 G’s: grace, gratitude, and generosity. Everything good in our lives comes from God, from the well of His grace. We respond with thanksgiving and generous living. How do you say “thank you”, and grow generous stewards in your church? Identify opportunities to express gratitude starting today, as well as new ways to invite generosity.
- Encourage a mindset of abundance, not scarcity. One way to do this is to ask, “What assets do we have in abundance, and how might they be used to bless and serve others?” Have church leaders make lists using asset categories like physical, individual, economic, relational, and institutional, and then look for new ways to combine assets for ministry given today’s unique environment. Think of these assets as God’s equipment; is that equipment being put to use or is it collecting dust?
- Get more people involved! Ask for written or video reflections on stewardship and include them in the church’s print/online communications or share them during worship. Consider providing prompts such as “I give to ______ Church because… ,” “The ministries of ______ Church that mean the most to me are…..” or “What stewardship means to me” (definition, what God has entrusted to me, how I respond).
- Put it all under one stewardship umbrella. Make sure you have a unifying core message, or even a “stewardship statement” so that whether you’re talking about time, talent, treasure, testimony, or creation, it’s all related. Many churches select a scripture verse to use as a core message; we’ve got a list of suggestions available on our website (click here).
Finally, let MMFA help! In addition to our online stewardship resources, we can work with you to look at your stewardship ministry with fresh eyes. Whether it’s through a conversation via Zoom, a stewardship health assessment, or an in person meeting or workshop when the time is right, we have tools that can help your congregation grow in and celebrate stewardship, every season of the year.
(To learn more, please contact Laura Watson, Director of Stewardship Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-725-2589.)