I am so thrilled today to see churches venturing more and more into the stewardship conversation. More classes are being taught along with entire church-wide emphasis. I want to take a few moments and help a pastor gain some realistic expectations to chart a long term direction.
Often times the motivation to launch a Stewardship Training class is two-fold, increase giving and relieve the pressure that may be felt on preaching on the topic of money. I want to step back to help you think through the launch of this new ministry.
First, Stewardship Training is about personal money management. It will focus on establishing a personal budget, growing an emergency fund, and pursuing a debt-free lifestyle. Increasing giving is not the priority. Some curriculums even place giving as the last point of emphasis. It would not be unusual for a church to actually experience a decline in church giving during a stewardship training emphasis.
Second, the single most influential person on the church money is the senior pastor. This is a ministry that you can move the dial more than anyone else. I know you can feel uncomfortable and lack confidence on the topic of money for many different reasons. But I want to encourage you. You can lead this effort, you can lead it well, and you can move the dial significantly. Here is a little hint. Money is not the issue. It is the fruit and the fruit follows passion.
Take some time to explore all the ways God is generous to us, then uncover all the personal blessings of living the generous life. Generosity releases every resource you need to fund your vision. Stewardship training has its place and purpose, but it is not your generosity solution.
Unleash giving today!