There are many important things for us to remember about stewardship. Today, I want to talk about a couple of the “T’s” of Stewardship.
Here are some specific steps that we, as stewardship leaders can take to create a culture of thanksgiving in our congregations.
- Start with God: Regularly thank God for the gifts that God has entrusted to us. That means acknowledging God as the source and owner of everything. We can do this in worship, in prayer, in hymns, in the sermon. We can also thank God for the ways people in our congregation have lived out their faith and used their gifts.
- Plan your thanksgiving: Before any annual response program is conducted, plan how you will thank not only those who estimate their giving, but also those who lead the program. Whatever your leadership team does, remember to plan to give thanks.
- Expand the circle of thanks-givers: It’s important that the pastor takes leadership in giving thanks. A thank you from the pastor is very meaningful. But it’s also important for others in your congregation who have the gift of thanksgiving to write thank you notes and share a verbal thanks you.
- Embrace opportunities to say thanks:
- After receiving an estimate of giving card
- Each quarter along with the record of giving
- Every gift that is mailed to the church
- Acknowledgement of personal recognitions in the community
- Thanks to volunteers
Tell the Story
God’s people want to know that their giving makes a difference in people’s lives. There is an important connection between thanking and telling. A good time to tell the story is when you are thanking people for their giving.
It’s important to tell your mission story so members of our congregation know their giving to the congregation makes a difference. It is also important to tell your mission story to motivate people to give generously to your congregation. They need to know that good things are happening because of their giving.
If you are going to reach as many people as possible with your message, you need to tell your story in as many different ways as you can imagine:
- The congregation’s newsletter
- Emails to members
- Your congregation’s web site
- A stewardship bulletin board
- Talks in worship
- Bulletin inserts
- Adult education classes
- A mission fair
Effectively telling the story of your congregation’s ministry and the story of the ministries your congregation supports will help God’s people grow in their relationship with Jesus. As people know that they are making a difference in other people’s lives, they will be drawn closer to their brothers and sisters in Christ, and they will be motivated to grow in their generosity.
Taken from “Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation” by Charles R. Lane.