One of the foundational truths that my friend and coach Steve Stroope shared earlier this week in the Improve the Financial Fitness of Your Church Webinar was that “an important part of your job as a church leader is to provide the resources for ministry.”
Unfortunately, many pastors struggle to cast a compelling vision for stewardship. As a result, their churches remain painfully underfunded and miss out on some great ministry opportunities just because they can’t afford them.
The first step for any church leader – even before casting a vision for stewardship – is to clarify your theology of money. Spend some time digging in to what the Bible teaches about money and grab & read through a copy of Money Matters in Church.
In short – know what you believe about stewardship and make sure you’re living that out in your own life.
Remember: “if it’s a mist in the pulpit, it will be a fog in the pew.”
Then, boldly cast vision for stewardship. Steve shared these vision-casting arenas in the webinar:
- In Your Preaching – Don’t shy away from the topic of money. Evaluate your preaching on a regular basis to stay balanced (click here for a resource to help you do just that). When was the last time you preached an entire series on the topic of money? How can you include a stewardship illustration in an upcoming message, to raise the value of honoring God with your finances?
- In Membership Class – Clearly present the expectations of membership (including giving) and be sure they understand what the church believes about money (click here for a post about Steve’s membership expectations). Be sure that financial giving is understood as a commitment of membership from the beginning. Then remind members of their commitment to give and support the work of the church periodically.
- In Small Groups – For most of us, small groups are what Steve refers to as a “Level 2” activity (primarily for the development of believers). Because of that, you can teach on the topic of giving, stewardship, and finances in general with a different approach than you do during your worship services. In addition to incorporating stewardship teaching into your small groups curriculum from time to time, you can provide ongoing opportunities for financial education and growth (ex: Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University).
These are three powerful (and often untapped) opportunities to teach, challenge and cast vision for biblical stewardship at your church.
So what’s your next step?
- Do you need to clarify your theology of money?
- Is it time to evaluate your preaching and add in some points about stewardship?
- Are you clearly letting members know that they’re expected to give?
- Should you order Financial Peace University and offer it as a small group this summer?
Whatever it is, know this – my prayer is that you will take the steps required for your church to be fully resourced to reach the people of your community!
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