Did you know most gyms see a 33-50% increase in volume in the month of January? Obviously, researchers say, this is because of the New Year’s resolution effect. Did you also know that 80% of the New Year’s resolution crowd begin dropping their gym membership by the second or third week of February? Is this the same in your church?
Often, getting your stewardship into healthy shape is one of the top goals of the local church. Many of us come back from Christmas break with great aspirations and not exactly sure how to get from point A to point B. As with exercise, faithful stewardship requires planning and follow-through. Therefore, we want to give you some pointers to push through on your way to experiencing stewardship health this year.
First, get up and be grateful. Making the choice to rejoice in the day that the Lord has made can be difficult. Begin each day by expressing gratitude to God can be life changing. How differently would our days be if we started each morning being thankful? Gratefulness warms us up to what God is doing in our midst and is infectious to those around us.
Share Stories of Change
Second, look for opportunities to share stories of God’s faithfulness with others. Why not have someone share in your church how God transformed his or her heart towards giving. This can be an effective “before and after” tool designed to encourage faithful stewardship and cause someone to examine his or her own financial priorities. In these stories, never use shame, guilt, or moral superiority as techniques to encourage giving. Often, the personal testimony of someone will inspire others to do the same.
Have the End in Mind
Third, start with the end in mind. Regardless, if I am trying to lose weight or wanting to increase the giving in my church, keeping the end in mind allows me to be proactive in taking small steps needed to accomplish the goal. Imagine your church being debt free and moving that money toward ministry and not mortgage. Imagine finally making the renovations you have been putting off for years.
Often, a lack of giving ourselves enough time to reach our goals can lead to disappointment or not reaching our full potential. If you believe a giving emphasis is something you’ll be looking to start this fall or January 2019, it is critical you talk with someone now and not wait until after Easter. By doing so you run the danger of compressing your campaign timeline, which can diminish the spiritual dynamic of your program and turn it into a “one-off” fundraiser. By starting the conversation three to four months ahead of time and before the summer, you give us the optimal amount of time to investigate, implement, and encourage your people to step out in faith. We offer multiple research tools to help you know how best to communicate and educate people around your vision. Then, a church-wide intentional season of prayer and discipleship invites as many people as possible to commit to what the Lord is leading your church to do. Again, if you want to begin a campaign this fall, you will need to start planning in March thru May. Therefore, you can skip across the summer and come back ready to begin the public phase after Labor Day and be near or at completion before the holidays.
Don’t Go At It Alone
In your efforts to improve the stewardship health of your church for 2018, we would encourage you to find someone you can talk to about these things. Our stewardship consultants are willing to talk with you about your goals and come alongside you in what may work best for your church. Even if it is just bouncing your ideas off someone, let us help you in taking the deliberate steps needed to improve your stewardship health.