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Stewardship Overview


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by Rev. Bill Tesch

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Stewardship Overview

  1. 1. God’s Work. Our Hands. Stewardship Ministry From Fundraising to the Vocation of all the Baptized
  2. 2. Stewardship is… <ul><li>Everything we do after we say, “I believe…” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How we spend/use our time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we care for our relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we manage our career and giftedness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we care for the earth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we give, spend and invest our money </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Reasons for The Average North American Christian Congregation to Focus on Financial Giving (Money) <ul><li>Our comparative wealth. </li></ul><ul><li>Our besetting anxieties about money. </li></ul><ul><li>Money has become the primary way that our culture measures value. </li></ul><ul><li>Because in the average ELCA congregation, frank talk about money as a matter of faith is rare. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Keys to Success <ul><li>Authentic Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic Teaching </li></ul>
  5. 5. Authentic Leadership <ul><li>Like any discipleship ministry of the church, a faithful stewardship ministry begins with authentic leadership. </li></ul><ul><li>Being real </li></ul><ul><li>Share your </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stewardship story: joys and struggles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stewardship “hero” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your “money autobiography” – a summary of your life and relationship with money. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Change the Conversation <ul><li>Matthew 6:19-21 “… for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” </li></ul><ul><li>Make it about faith, about obedience, about right-heartedness, about directing our heart where we most want our heart to be. </li></ul><ul><li>To do this we must monitor our own anxiety and motivations related to money and our talk about it. </li></ul><ul><li>HOWEVER… like every other faith issue, this one deserves real teaching and conversation about real issues. Choosing never to talk about money is not the same as changing the conversation! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Authentic Theology Down and Out: That’s where God’s grace takes you! Toward a Trinitarian theology of stewardship based upon Luther’s doctrine of vocation. A work in progress…
  8. 8. I believe in God the Father… <ul><li>God's work in creation is clear. “God looked upon all that God had made and said, ‘That’s good!’” God's creation, released to our hands, with God's blessing of sunlight, soil, and rain, becomes our daily bread through the work of farmers, commodities traders, millers and bakers. We know that the bread we pray for is “daily bread.” We cannot hold on to it or expect to keep it. Hoarded blessings will rot in our hands like day old manna in the desert. All that we have comes to us from God and goes back to God. </li></ul>
  9. 9. I believe in God the Son <ul><li>Through Jesus' death and resurrection, God works to reconcile the broken world. Through our hands, God's grace restores relationships, offering forgiveness, healing and salvation in and through the work of believers who gather around bread and wine, declaring the good news of Christ Jesus. We join God’s plan for the reconciliation of the world when we share with the world our time, talent and our possessions, recognizing that these gifts of God “must be cared for, managed, shepherded, shared, given away – not for their own sake, but in order to accomplish God’s ultimate will that the whole world be saved.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. I believe in God the Holy Spirit <ul><li>God the Holy Spirit is constantly at work calling us through the Gospel to reach outward toward our neighbor. God invites us to join in God’s mission to our neighbors as we are called and sent to love them in every realm of life: Home, Work, World, and Church. In all of these realms, God’s work is intimately joined with our hands. God, working through ordinary means such as wheat and grape and human speech, uses mundane aspects of our lives and transforms them into holy, saving work. </li></ul>
  11. 11. To summarize… <ul><li>This is our faithful stewardship. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All is God’s: all gifts, all work, all glory, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but God in God’s goodness includes us in the work by calling forth the gifts in our hands. It is… </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Authentic Teaching: 6 - Key Biblical Principles <ul><li>Why we give </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For Love of God: We give to worship God. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For Love of Neighbor: We give to serve our neighbor. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ways we give </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On Purpose: this involves planning, intentionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 Cor. 8:5, 2 Cor. 9:5 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proportionally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 Cor. 8:3, 2 Cor. 9:8, OR: Matthew 23:23, Acts 2! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>When we give </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First: “first fruits” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exodus 23:19-21, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regularly: in the same manner that we receive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 Cor. 16:2, </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Three Kinds of Congregations <ul><li>Offering: Stewardship Ministry is comprised of passing the offering plate in worship, and possibly the occasional sermon. </li></ul><ul><li>Pledging: Stewardship Ministry is comprised of the above plus asking for a pledge or commitment form. Little teaching or explanation surrounds this process other than, “it’s needed to help the church with budget planning.” </li></ul><ul><li>Percentage or Proportionate Giving: Stewardship Ministry is comprised of asking the congregation for a pledge or commitment that is proportionate to income. Since the concept of proportionate giving is Biblical, teaching about other basic Biblical principles normally accompanies this way of engaging stewardship teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>How do these different approaches stack up according to the 6 Biblical Principles? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Offering Congregations <ul><li>Method: collect an offering </li></ul><ul><li>Biblical principles emphasized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Love of God YES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Love of Neighbor ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Purpose NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proportionality NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First Fruits NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regularly YES </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Pledging Congregations <ul><li>Method: ask for a pledge (possibly even an increase!) </li></ul><ul><li>Biblical principles emphasized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Love of God YES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Love of Neighbor ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Purpose YES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proportionality NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First Fruits NO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regularly YES </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Percentage Giving Congregations <ul><li>Method: ask for a pledge of a percentage of income </li></ul><ul><li>Biblical principles emphasized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Love of God YES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Love of Neighbor PROBABLY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Purpose YES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proportionality YES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First Fruits PROBABLY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regularly YES </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Evaluated Theologically: <ul><li>Offering and Pledging both ignore key aspects of biblical teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>Percentage Giving is best, as long as one keeps in mind… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authenticity of message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Response Methods” are helpful, but secondary </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Results <ul><li>Offering Congregations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1.1%-1.4% of household income </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pledging Congregations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1.3%-2.5% of household income </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Percentage Giving Congregations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average 4.2%! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Source The Alban Institute </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Average current stewardship practices in the SD Synod <ul><li>Average giving is 1.82% of household income </li></ul><ul><li>This fact along with survey data points to the conclusion that a majority of the congregations in the South Dakota Synod are “Offering” congregations. A smaller group are “Pledging,” and a very small group are “Percentage or Proportionate Giving” congregations. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Ways we can help <ul><li>Stewardship consultations with key leaders, council members, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Training for Stewardship Committees </li></ul><ul><li>Help and ideas for implementing new stewardship ministries (year round, moving from offering, pledging or growth giving to percentage based giving, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Resource discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Linking with others, mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Specific help with annual response “campaigns” </li></ul><ul><li>Discover Your Dependable Strengths seminars </li></ul>
  21. 21. For assistance in developing your Stewardship Ministry <ul><li>Contact Pastor Bill Tesch, Synod Stewardship Specialist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>605-274-4026 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. God’s Work. Our Hands.