Generosity and Stewardship


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."
John 3:16         

Often people think that stewardship involves asking the congregation for money every so often – particularly if there is a financial crisis in the parish.  However, there is much more to stewardship than money. Everything we have comes from God – our families and friends, the world we live in, all our possessions and money as well.  God even gave his own son, so that we can live.

Stewardship isn’t about money.  It is about generosity.  It is about faith and discipleship.

Our response to God’s generosity should be to say thank you, to nurture those gifts and give something back to God, and to our neighbours, communities and environment.  Generosity is rooted in our relationship with one another and with God.  That generosity gives everyone an opportunity to share in the mission of Christ and the ministry which supports that mission.

I am the vine, you are the branches.  Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

Encouraging giving in tough times

This is a difficult time in the life of our nation and of our Church.  The suspension of public worship and closure of our church buildings, loss of income from cash collections, envelopes, occasional offices, fundraising events and hall lettings will have a huge impact on the income of our parish churches.

As Archbishop Justin has said, the Church of England is not closing down – but Church is changing. This has to be so if the Church of England is to continue to be the Church for England - our ministry is now needed more than ever in so many different ways.

There are some things we can do to soften the impact of the Coronavirus virus on our church’s finances.  This is a very good time to communicate with our church family, to tell them what is going on and to consider how they can play a role in supporting their church and its ministry through these tough times and into a brighter, stronger future. 

It is also a time to think about the ways in which people give to the church, and how we need to change in response to this new way of doing church. 

A virtual stewardship review

If you are running online Services and thinking about a giving review, you can do it virtually.  Click here for guidance.  You should be able to co-ordinate this with a stewardship review in church as well, if you are doing one.  All of these materials are guides – you know your people and what they care about, and you should be able to tweak and adapt to suit your own circumstances.

Why do people give to Church, what will stop them and how can we encourage them?

If you want to encourage your church family to give, remember to:

  • tell them where the money will go,

  • show them that you can manage their money,

  • lead by example with your own generous giving,

  • make it as easy as possible to give.

Here’s a checklist of things to do to mitigate the worst effects of Coronavirus:

  • Communicate to your parish the impact that Coronavirus is having on the financial situation of your parish, clearly and transparently – if people don’t understand the need they can’t respond.

  • Make sure you are set up for online giving, encourage people to use it and keep all your avenues of digital communication up to date.

  • Encourage envelope and plate givers to move to standing orders (even if it is just for now).

  • Provide an opportunity to give in an online ‘offertory’ during streamed services.

  • Encourage one-off donations in addition to regular planned giving.

  • Think about how you can make up lost income from fundraising events.

  • Check that your Gift Aid and GASDS claims are up to date.

  • Make the most of the excellent resources to be found on the Parish Resources website.  www.parishresources.org.uk

Keeping connected – going digital in an age of isolation

Most of us are online.  We are shopping online and surfing the internet.  Providers like Zoom have enabled us to work virtually, meet one another and socialise and, of course stream our church services.  We can also give online, and the evidence is there that churches which are enabling online donations are getting more money coming in.

The video in this link will take you through setting up an online account, step by step.

https://www.parishresources.org.uk/encouraging-giving-online/setting-up-online-giving/

This link has plenty of information about how to encourage online giving.

https://www.parishresources.org.uk/encouraging-giving-online/

You set up your online giving through the Parish Buying service.  There is more information here:

https://www.parishbuying.org.uk/categories/giving-and-payments/online-giving

https://www.parishresources.org.uk/digital-giving/

Thanks!  And what next?

Things will still be different for a while.  It is worth asking however where God wants us to be at the moment?  Where is this leading?  What does the Bible say about generosity and giving and are we, as a parish, living up to that?

What we are doing with the gifts that God has given us, whether it is our time, our money or our skills; are we giving with a joyful heart, a real joyful heart.  Not from leftovers.

Remember to thank your donors, individually, letting them see the difference which their money has made.  Just as we appreciate the gifts which we are given, our givers really need to feel appreciated at this time, and we can look forward to being together again soon.

Get Support

Liz Mullins is our Stewardship and Funding Adviser.  Please get in touch for anything related to generosity and stewardship.

Email Liz
01227 459401
07768881059