It is August and fall is around the corner. One school system in our area started school on August 1 and they are not on a year around calendar. Summers are getting shorter in many areas which brings its challenges. Church staffs often times get caught off guard in their planning for the fall because they are still in summer mode.
One of the biggest areas that gets short changed in the planning for fall is the area of generosity and stewardship. Many churches utilize the fall for their “annual stewardship drive” (I really don’t like that terminology) or their “generosity focus” (I’m not a great big fan of this one but it is better than the other one).
Financial giving is essential for the church to operate. However, most experts agree that financial giving is one of THE key indicators of our spiritual health and personal relationship with God. If we agree with that statement then shouldn’t this area receive our best when it comes to planning and preparation? Obviously I think it deserves our best so here are three MUST HAVES for your fall generosity initiative:
- Plan at least three sermons that speak directly to financial giving. We can talk about the broad category of generosity and include time, talent, presence, and witness, but we MUST teach specifically on financial generosity. Three ENTIRE sermons on financial giving. Spread them out over the fall. Most reading this will disagree with this statement. My experience tells me that the pastors who speak directly to financial giving lead churches with healthy mission and ministry budgets.
- Offer a personal finance class to help those in your church who are struggling with debt. Many in your church will listen to the three sermons this fall and feel inspired and challenged to give financially but they can’t because they are in debt. Help them get out of debt. The culture is not going to help them. If not the church, then who? Financial Peace University is an excellent choice.
- Connect financial giving with life change during worship – 4 times. We have to help the people in our churches understand that their financial giving is making a difference. People inside and outside of the church benefit from their financial giving. Every church has much life change to celebrate and it is pretty easy to see some financial connection almost every time. Check out this video to see a real life example of how you might do this.
You have a staff meeting scheduled soon. Are you going to talk about your generosity initiative for this fall? I’d love to hear your plans.