Stewardship in a post-Covid season
Amanda Wagoner – Sr Minister, First Christian Church
Stewardship is ultimately about gratitude, showing thanks to God through our own actions of giving our time, talents and tithe towards building God’s Kingdom on earth. This past year, we became acutely aware of how many parts of our lives, especially church, we took for granted. We suddenly became incredibly grateful for technology and pastors and members willing to wrestle with entirely new ways of being the church. I think this offers us a unique opportunity for stewardship campaigns this year on a few levels.
First, churches that have had a consistent history with annual stewardship campaigns have actually seen their giving either maintain this past year or even go up! A sign that people want to show their gratitude and share their generosity with the church. This might be a great year to encourage first time givers to start small, a few dollars a week can add up to important ministry in the church. After a year away from church and service, it is the perfect time to invite people to help with small projects and new ministries in small doses like one hour a month. Imagine an extra 30, 70, or hundreds of hours of service if everyone just gave one! Finally, people are hungry for meaning and connection after such a year of connection, inviting people and coming alongside them for a year is also good stewardship and builds the Kingdom one person at a time.
Secondly, if there was ever a year to innovate ways of giving churches should be most open to it now. If you have not already utilized options for direct deposit from bank accounts to the church or even used online giving, this could be the year to start. A few of these may have some upfront costs or fees, but studies have shown the increased giving regularly covers those costs within a year.
If you want more information on campaign ideas or where to start with new giving opportunities The Center for Faith and Giving has everything you need. Their webpage is full of resources and Bruce Barkhauer is available to help walk you through these new methods step by step. This could be the year where your congregation catches the joy of generosity!