“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Big Picture Thinking for Stewardship
In this webinar entitled “Forming Faithful Stewards,” our expert panelists discuss giving and generosity in church settings. In addition to larger themes around giving, this webinar offers practical resources for making stewardship a year-round emphasis. Whether your church is small or large, you are sure to find something helpful for your context.
Three Take Aways
- Expand Stewardship Beyond “The Annual Giving Campaign” – Stewardship is more than a yearly pledge drive. Stewardship is about relationships. It is about our relationship with God as well as our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with our resources, and our relationships with others. Stewardship is about cultivating a spirit of generosity all year long.
- Consider The Language – Be intentional about the language you use when talking about “stewardship.” Consider whether your congregation clearly understands the terms you have been using (stewardship, treasure, pledge, etc.). If you have been using the same language for many years, consider switching it up (for example, talking about giving or generosity instead of stewardship). Feel free to use the word “money.” Avoiding the word money can contribute to a sense of scarcity and anxiety in your congregation.
- Be Transparent – Think about how you share the impact of giving within your parish. Consider sharing both financial data and data related to in-kind giving, parish partnerships, and member participation. As you are working towards transparency, do not focus on raising a certain dollar amount. Asking for a specific amount of money might limit someone’s giving. Keep a focus on the vision and mission of your parish. Focusing on the vision inspires members to contribute towards something they believe in, not just check the box of donating to the church.
- Forming Faithful Stewards Slides (check out slides 15-16 for list of texts recommended for stewardship related Bible Study)
- PDF of Brochure from Grace and Holy Trinity
- Children’s Giving Envelopes Sample
- Year round giving ideas – month by month
- Bibliography: Children and Stewardship from StoryPath(compiled by Noell Rathbun-Cook)
- Money Personality Types Quiz(referenced in ECF Vital Practices Webinar above)
- In Depth Reading, Resource list from Stewardship University
- Circle of Stewardship Image (from the Diocese of Atlanta)
- Kitchen Table Giving: Reimagining How Congregations Connect With Their Donors by William G. Enright (suggested by webinar participant)
- Family Conversations About Money: 18 Questions For Children & Teens from Building Faith
- Prayer/Quote from Thomas Merton
- Prayer Cube (a helpful way to express gratitude at home)
- Prayers for Stewardship (from the Diocese of Washington)
- Prayer for My Church (Used by Julie Simonton: Church Vitality Day at Church of the Epiphany, June 24, 2017)
My church is composed of people like me.
I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly, if I am.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.
It will do great work, if I work.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a church of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith,
and a church with a noble spirit, if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things.
Therefore, with the help of God, I shall dedicate myself to the task
of being all the things that I want my church to be.
Panelists and Host
Carolyn Moomaw Chilton is the Associate for Evangelism and Stewardship at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. She’s worked as a lay person in the church for almost 30 years in the areas of evangelism, stewardship & generosity, and Christian Formation.
Diane Wright currently serves as Coordinator for Stewardship for Latino/Hispanic Congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Diane has a passion for sharing her faith, which has been integral to her work as an educator, lawyer, writer, speaker and social entrepreneur. An active lay leader at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, she also serves as Coordinator for Family Ministry at St. Andrew’s, just a few miles away.
Matthew Kozlowski (your host) is co-editor of Building Faith, and a staff member at the Center for the Ministry of Teaching.