Rev. Margaret Lewis, MBA, had great ideas for developing year-round stewardship in your church in my teleconference interview yesterday. Here are some of Maggie’s suggestions:
- Look for ways to do stewardship year-round that don’t necessarily involve asking for money. Maggie said, “Money and finances are a huge part of everyone’s lie. We owe it to our congregations – it makes no sense to talk about money only one time a year.” A couple of ideas – thanking people and offering personal finance workshops.
- Send thank you notes for giving and other ministries. Maggie has been trying to practice what Clif Christopher suggests in Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, sending ten thank you notes a week. She doesn’t limit it to giving, but doesn’t forget to include giving. She suggests thanking people in writing for help such as driving youth to an event or leading in worship, simply letting people know they are appreciated.
- Highlight the ministry of your church every week before the offering. If you are the pastor, include the impact of your own ministry.
- Get your own giving house in order. Maggie acknowledged this is a process, but as you move toward tithing yourself it will be easier to ask others to tithe.
- Ask people to leave a legacy. Finally, she said, “We need to be talking about legacy giving and asking people to remember the church in their will – so many people would want to support the church. This is a way you can, even when you’ve passed on.”
If you’d like the recording, or some language Maggie suggests for use in newsletters or websites regarding legacy giving, e-mail me at Margaret@margaretmarcuson.com.