Charles Lane in his book, Ask, Thank, Tell suggests that the “goal of stewardship ministry is to help God’s people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the use of time, talents and finances God has entrusted to them.”
In keeping with the definition of Congregational Vitality: “communities of Jesus where there are life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world”, Lane points us to the power of the relationship with God through the gift of stewarding resources entrusted to us.
The Virginia Synod has compiled some stewardship resources based on the model from Lane of “Ask, Thank, Tell”. In many of our congregations this fall we are in the process of “asking” for the response from people regarding their stewardship.
Consider how to thank and to tell people how their generosity makes a difference. Here are a few suggestions of how you might do that.
Say "Thank You!" for all the ways that people share their gifts, not just for financial stewardship. Each week, make five personal contacts, five phone calls, write five handwritten thank you notes or send five personal emails saying "Thank you" to individuals in the congregation or community who have used their gifts to make ministry happen.
Tell: During the offering (or at an appropriate time in your service), spend 60 seconds highlighting a ministry that is made possible because of the congregation’s generosity.
Tell: Create a monthly bulletin board, online post, newsletter article, e-newsletter article, bulletin insert that highlights and celebrates a ministry being accomplished because of the congregation’s generosity.
If you have a practice that you have found to be helpful, please contact me. I would love to share your ideas for the sake of all of us!
May God inspire generosity in us in to share the grace and love of Christ!
Yours, in service,
Pastor Peggy Paugh Leuzinger
Director for Evangelical Mission, Montana Synod
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Rise, O Church
Resources for strengthening Congregations
Rev. Peggy Paugh Leuzinger
Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) for the Montana Synod of the ELCA