God is Big and Faithful. No matter the size of your community, He can do big things in the lives of your church members. Here are a 4 Stewardship Ideas to help you create a church culture focused on Big Generosity.
1 Define What is Really Important
Begin with Prayer.
You know God is the one who opens eyes and changes the hearts of your congregation. At ReImagine, we always encourage our church partners to begin with prayer. Pray for:
- A Clear Vision
- Unified Leadership
- A Defined Mission and Plan
- Eyes to See Where God is at Work
A Clear Vision & Unified Leadership
Even Jesus limited His ministry on earth. As a church with limited volunteers and resources, it is important that you have clarity in your vision and unity in your leadership to maximize your impact. Seeking to accomplish too many different missions, can exhaust your volunteers and dilute your effectiveness. Before you take a single step, spend a few weeks praying for God to give your leadership a clear vision so that you can maximize your collective effort.
Define Your Mission & Develop A Focused Plan
Every church has certain strengths and assets. As you seek to define your church’s mission, ask the following questions:
- How has God uniquely equipped our church to love our members?
- How has God uniquely equipped us to love our community?
- How can our church be a beacon of God’s love in our community that draws people into a relationship with Christ?
- What causes has God already laid on the hearts of our members?
- Where should we focus our efforts this year?
As your leadership prays over these questions, keep in mind the importance of focusing your mission like a laser. Make your goal to do less, but to do it well.
Eyes to See Where God is at Work
God has a purpose for the passions and relationships of those within your community. As you seek God’s mission for your church, don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel. For example, one of our church partners is raising $28,000 to build a community center in El Salvador. This church’s mission was born of the passion of a church member, who visited a child he sponsored. On his trip, he saw a need. When he returned home, he shared the opportunity with his church’s leadership. Everyone got excited to be a part of the work God was doing in El Salvador.
As in this example, God shares His heart with His people. Look within your congregation for opportunities born of the issues near and dear to the hearts of your people.
2 Outside the Pulpit and Into the Heart
Generosity Starts with Church Leaders.
Generosity is caught more than it is taught. Part of leadership is modeling generosity for your church and community. A thriving stewardship atmosphere begins with generous leaders.
A Sermon on Tithing isn’t the Solution.
Your church congregation wants to see a meaningful connection between their contributions and how God is using that to fulfill the mission of the Church. Bring them face to face with the impact of their efforts.
Hands on experiences can be more meaningful than a dozen sermons or studies. Consider a church-wide serving day where people are given the opportunity to directly serve those who are in need. As your congregation looks into the eyes of those they serve, they will be affected.
Get Creative in Order to Light a Fire of Generosity in the Congregation.
People need to be inspired to action. Certain kinds of giving are more gratifying than others, and sacrificial giving can be scary. Acknowledge those realities and cast a vision that encourages your community to overcome obstacles.
Overcoming the obstacles to generosity can require creativity. Challenge your congregation to generosity in 3 areas of their lives:
- Personal lives—-showing generosity in their families
- Neighborhoods/work/ school —-showing generosity in their realms of influence
- Community —showing generosity in their city, to strangers, and to the ends of the earth.
Begin where you are, but don’t stay there.
3 Focus on Generosity, Volunteers, and A Worthy Gift
Giving isn’t an obligation but an opportunity. Serving isn’t a burden but a blessing. If your congregation is missing the joy in giving, the testimony of another may help. Allow those those who are giving and those who are receiving to share about the gift of generosity. Again, generosity is better caught than taught.
If you’re seeing a decline in church attendance within your congregation, you’re not alone. In fact, even those considered “regular attendees” often only attend church services twice per month! The question is: “What can you do to change that in your church?
Have you noticed that many in your congregation miss Sunday morning but they would never miss practice for the sport team they committed to playing? Feeling like a critical part of the team encourages attendance to sporting events, and it can can affect your attendance too. When people feel like they are an important part of the community, that they are missed when they don’t attend, and that their service propels the mission, attendance follows. Connect people with serving opportunities and the blessing it is to serve, and they will be more committed to attending.
Challenge your Congregation to Give their Best to God (Not “Stinky Sheep”)
Our creator is worthy of our best and should not get a half-hearted effort. At Reimagine Generosity we want to educate people on the ideas of giving the very best of their time, resources, and talents to further the Kingdom of God.
4 Big Generosity is Born of a Big Heart
We aren’t born seeing God’s blessings, and it’s easy to look past all of the blessings that the Lord gives us and focus on the negative.
At Reimagine Generosity, we want to see hearts change…but that’s not something you can order on the internet. Big hearts are the product of an encounter with our Big God.
Encourage people to take an inventory of the blessings in their own lives so that they have a greater awareness of God’s goodness. As you pray for God to give eyes to see Him, also cultivate an attitude of gratitude within your community. Connect the opportunity to give as a response to God’s generosity.
As people have eyes to see God’s gifts in their own lives, their thankfulness can fuel BIG GENEROSITY.
? What’s the Next Step?
Hopefully you’ll come away from this article with a variety of ideas on small church stewardship and how you can lead your congregation toward developing a heart for generosity.
Only God can change hearts, but at Reimagine Generosity, we equip churches with the materials needed to start the conversation and plant seeds that lead to a more faithful, generous church.
If you’re looking for a stewardship program that, along with steadfast prayer and faithfulness, can set the foundation for transformation in your church, we encourage you to look at the programs we offer, or contact us today to learn more!