Congregational Stewardship 101
Here are some basic resources to help a congregation get going in stewardship. Perfect for newly appointed stewardship leaders or committees.
Make it Simple
The Hows and Whys of Money Leadership
Wow! Every church needs a little help in the current economic downturn. Here’s a free online comprehensive stewardship planning resource from the ELCA. It will guide your congregation through all the steps for your stewardship program, such as finding a theme, settling on a method, educating and training your members. You’ll find PDF downloads, videos, worship guides, sermon suggestions. From ELCA Stewardship Resources. Augsburg Fortress has a DVD set of these resources for those who wish. Click here for order information.
Wow! Here's a free, seven-part curriculum for leaders who want to plumb the depths of their congregation's financial soul. It covers attitudes about money, congregational finances, leadership, money and theology and other topics. A real gem for congregations that find themselves stuck and don't know how to get going. Developed cooperatively by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Alban Institute and Lilly Endowment, it was principally written by Mark Vincent, lead partner for Design for Ministry, a consulting firm in Wisconsin.
Step by Step: Fostering Financial Stewardship in Your Congregation.
From the ELCA, here's a wonderful 48-page booklet that outlines 17 steps for solid stewardship and helps ground pastors and lay people in the theology of stewardship. Best of all, it's free via PDF download. Click here for "Step by Step."
Re-teaching 6 principles of Christian giving.
This article provides good, practical inspiration for any stewardship purpose -- personal devotion, your latest stewardship sermon, a workshop on giving or a letter to go out with the latest budget appeal. Click here for "Re-teaching 6 principles," from ChurchCentral.com.
Stewardship: A handbook
Here's a resource available for free PDF download - a sort of "stewardship 101" guide for congregational leaders. It covers a variety of topics, from Scripture references to programs to nurturing stewardship. It's prepared by the Episcopal Church of Scotland, and the principles apply just as well this side of the Atlantic. Click here for "Stewardship: A handbook," from The Episcopal Network for Stewardship.
Loaves and fishes.
This piece explores a biblical approach to "asset-based stewardship" for congregations. "Sometimes people phone or e-mail my office to inquire about stewardship resources. I often tell them that the Bible is our best stewardship book because it tells stories about Jesus, our finest stewardship teacher," writes Barb Fullerton, stewardship staff member with the United Church of Canada. Great reading! Click here for Loaves and fishes.
Eight ways congregations raise pledges.
If you're looking for a way to increase giving at your church (and what leader is not?), here's an article for you! This piece looks at the strengths of eight pledge-raising approaches in order to help churches find the one that best fits their own situation. Good reading for the stewardship novice and seasoned hand alike. Click here for "Eight ways." From the Alban Institute's Congregational Resource Center.