Most church leaders want to help their congregations become more generous. But how do we do that? And how can we assess or measure our progress toward specific results? “Results” are what people will know, be, or do because of their stewardship exposure and experience. “Strategies” are action steps to achieve our results. For example, church leaders might choose one or more of the following desired results. Emphasized suggestions begin in bold font.

Building a Generous Church Culture

  • Conduct community interviews to identify constituencies, their concerns, strengths and needs, for the congregation to consider possible stewardship of service and witness
  • Have small groups for youth and adults using Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity
  • Develop a line-item budget as a template for funding and resourcing ministries, modifying it as needed throughout the year
  • Church leaders attend a training event that has a stewardship component
  • Establish a separate Stewardship and Generosity Team to encourage and interpret the stewardship life of our church
  • Create support teams for physical health awareness and healthy choices and habits
  • Offer Financial Peace University or Freed-Up Financial Living classes each year
  • Hold a series of “Body and Soul” simple potluck dinners to support healthy lifestyle choice

Growing Vibrant, Faithful Stewards

  • Pastor attends a continuing education event related to stewardship each year
  • Preach once a quarter on an aspect of comprehensive stewardship, and stewardship as a key mark of discipleship
  • Invite participants to practice first fruits living, tithing, and proportional giving, using a resource such as Firstfruits Living or Holy Smoke!
  • Provide a small group to explore Money and Values, using a resource such as At Ease or The Soul of Money
  • Write a narrative budget to communicate the church’s ministries by clustered ministry dimensions, to explain the ministries in which we are involved, in a non-numbers way
  • Offer small groups on Exploring Your Spiritual Gifts using a book such as SpiritGift
  • Initiate an area clergy group to study Money and Ministry: A Practical Guide for Pastors
  • Hold a mission event on the church property, showing local, regional, and global ministries

Maturing as a Generous Congregation

  • Host an annual financial commitment program connected to worship and small-group life
  • Develop a plan to lift up generous attitudes and behavior among members of the congregation, reviewing and revising it every six months
  • Work with children and youth using sharesavespend.com and Money Sanity Solutions
  • Create a local church Green Team and relate to area churches and other faith-and-ecology networks
  • Do a ten-year analysis of our congregation’s giving patterns (For an example, see the Historical Analysis Spreadsheet at www.eoumf.org)
  • Select and commit to a specific partnership with a missionary or ministry serving in another part of the world
  • Hold a Stewardship / Ministry Fair such as Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s Go and See
  • Conduct a planned giving education event in our church, which could be led by a denominational foundation representative or an expert in our congregation or community

Strengthening the Stewardship Dimensions of Our Church’s Full Ministry

  • Have members of our Stewardship and Generosity Team talk about stewardship aspects of each working committee / ministry area in our congregation.
  • Study stewardship in youth and adult small groups and classes, using Afire with God or Growing Generous Souls
  • Establish a system such as Ask, Thank, Tell to acknowledge and thank givers as a regular part of our church’s ministry processes.
  • Pastor preaches quarterly sermons highlighting aspects of holistic stewardship, such as time, abilities, and relationships.
  • Offer an annual class for parents on Raising Financially Freed-Up Kids or using Money Sanity Solutions
  • Practice creative, interactive ways to express the Offering time in worship
  • Work with the Lay Leadership / Nominations Committee to recruit church leaders who model good stewardship
  • Initiate a mission trip such as Volunteers In Mission, Sierra Service Project, or other mission groups with sponsors and prayer partners from the congregation

Empowering Our Worldwide Mission

  • Tell personally-connected stories monthly in worship, about how our Shared Ministry or connectional mission giving is working to transform people’s lives
  • Create and implement a plan to move toward 100% payment of our congregation’s portion of Shared Ministries for mission, such as increasing payment by 20% each year
  • Conduct an event or initiative to advocate for the economically marginalized within our community
  • Invite people in mission to speak to church groups about their work as an extension of our stewardship or discipleship in action
  • Church leaders attend a jurisdictional or denominational stewardship event
  • Have a stewardship missions project for the children and youth of our church, letting them choose the ministry and participate in some decisions about what they will do
  • Invite a speaker from an organization financially supported by our church speak at worship or a congregation-wide event such as a special dinner – not to appeal for additional funding, but to say thanks and how our gifts have changed lives
  • Establish or join a book-reading plan for books related to the Church in mission in the world

 

See Also: Dimensions of Stewardship; Components for Creating a Culture of Generosity; Worksheet to Build a Generosity Plan

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