Stewardship is too frequently equated with the annual commitment campaign to underwrite the local church operations. The Biblical message is that stewardship is a lifestyle. Stewardship means "manage." We are called, as followers of Christ, to "manage" all the gifts placed into our lives, including time, talents, spiritual gifts, relationships, creation, income and assets.
Every church has an opportunity to grow generous stewards with their members and attendees. Stewardship is fundamental for a church to have the time, talents and resources to accomplish God's mission and vision for the local church.
However, it takes an intentional plan.
The following is a list of critical paths to growing disciples with an understanding of stewardship as a lifestyle:
- Growing Generous Givers is a spiritual issue about Discipleship
- Teaching Biblical Foundations places the topic under Biblical authority
- Stewardship is not about the budget but giving to God
- Telling the stories of transformed lives motivates people to give
- Every gathering is an opportunity to grow generosity with a creative "Thank You"
- Growing Generous Givers is a long-term commitment
- Understanding current giving patterns provides a starting place to transform church culture
- Knowing people want to be generous establishes an intentional effort to assist with personal finance management
- Forming a local church "Stewardship Team" assures an intentional plan is created
- Create a year-round stewardship strategy that moves stewardship into all aspects of life, not just the annual fall "commitment campaign"
- Define the role of the Finance Committee related to stewardship
- Clarifying the role of the pastor
The Council on Development is available to present "Stewardship 101: Growing Generous Givers" to the Leadership Team, Finance Committee and additional leaders as identified by the church. After the orientation, follow-up can include assistance with refinement and implementation of the stewardship strategy. Approximately 200 churches have participated in this orientation in their local church, through District Leadership events and other various WOC training events.