The following suggestions for encouraging stewardship, “Messages that Work”, compiled by Daniel Currell, were published in the Lutheran Seminary stewardship newsletter, which can be read online at: http://www.luthersem.edu/stewardship.
Jesus is the message.
Keep the main thing the main thing. Our congregation is theologically diverse. We stay on message “proclaiming Christ, being generous, being involved in God’s mission in the world.”
Everything belongs to God.
Our privilege is to respond to what God gives us by returning what God has given. God is the actor. God is the giver. We return those gifts.
A generous God.
We are made in the image of a generous God; we are hard-wired to be generous people.
Show how gifts make a difference.
In every worship folder throughout the year, there is an article about how gifts make a difference and what gifts are doing.
Message at offering.
Several of the effective churches had a layperson get up and talk for one or two minutes at the time of the offering about how the church’s gifts are impacting a specific ministry.
There is no stewardship message. It’s a mission. It is strategy and vision for the church. It is not a stewardship message.
Messages to Avoid:
- Don’t ask people to give to a budget—they need to give to a mission.
- People want to give to a goal and see the impact.
- Don’t ask to give out of guilt.
- No scarcity messages. It’s all about abundance of God.
- Don’t ask for money. Ask for support for the mission.
Don’t ask for what’s yours. It’s not yours, it’s God’s. It brings what is God’s back to the mission of the church.