Leading congregations to embrace stewardship is hard work. Ultimately, this work is about changing the culture of conversation, theology, and practice concerning stewardship. While changing congregational culture is vitally important, sometimes, amidst the change we need a program, materials that move us from thinking to doing. Pastor Chick Lane, former director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders, has provided just this ministry in the “Because of God’s Great Mercy” Stewardship Kit. If you’re searching for a program from a proven stewardship leader, read on.
Next week we begin a multi-week series on “Funding the Next Church.”
Adam J. Copeland, Director
Center for Stewardship Leaders
Because of God’s Great Mercy
For three years I wrote these emails promoting stewardship ideas for congregations. It is a bit odd to be writing one promoting a stewardship program that I have written. Yet that is precisely what I am doing.
I’m pleased to introduce Because of God’s Great Mercy to you. Because of God’s Great Mercy is a stewardship response program designed to be used in congregations of any size and any denomination. It is an online resource, easily found at www.embracingstewardship.com.
Five words describe Because of God’s Great Mercy. First, it is complete. Everything you need for your congregation’s stewardship program is included. Instructions and a timeline will guide your program. Emails and letters, a newsletter article, bulletin inserts and talks in worship, a commitment card and follow-up materials are all included.
Second, it is biblical. God’s word is at the heart of Because of God’s Great Mercy. Congregants are invited to reflect on God’s word and respond to God’s incredible generosity with generous gifts to the congregation.
Third, it is missional. The congregation is encouraged to use the program as an occasion to tell how giving is making a difference in Jesus’ name in the congregation, the community and around the world. People are encouraged to give to do God’s work in the world through the congregation.
Fourth, it invites proportional giving. The program encourages people to grow their giving by ? of 1 percent of household income, and gives them a very simple way to calculate that amount. In two simple steps, anyone at any income level can determine what increasing by this amount would be per week. A third simple step converts this amount to twice monthly or monthly giving.
Fifth, it is customizable. Because of God’s Great Mercy comes in two formats. A Word format is completely customizable, allowing the congregation to easily insert its name, its mission story, and its ways people can give. A .pdf format is ready to go.
If your congregation is one of the many that conduct your stewardship response program in the fall, and you haven’t decided what program to use, I encourage you to consider Because of God’s Great Mercy. Unlike some stewardship programs that require you to make many choices about how you will use them, Because of God’s Great Mercy provides complete instructions, and requires only slight editing in the Word version so that you can make the program your own and use it to tell the story of your congregation’s mission and ministry. There is still plenty of time to be ready for a fall program.
Because of God’s Great Mercy costs $20.00. You receive both the Word version and the .pdf version. For more information and to purchase the program, go to www.embracingstewardship.com.
Chick Lane is the former Director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary. He is also the author of “Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation.” He currently serves as Pastor for Stewardship and Generosity at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota, and works as a consultant with Kairos and Associates.
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