Ten reasons why people become generous stewards

Although I don’t often consult with congregations about their stewardship programs, I keep a close eye on trend lines related to local church giving. It’s my experience that as goes giving by Christians to their home churches, so goes their giving to other Kingdom causes.

If churches within the support bases of the organizations with which I’m working are doing well, other ministries (including my clients) ride the wave of generosity. Conversely, when churches are running in the red, scarcity spreads.

That’s why anyone with advice about how to help church people become generous stewards is a friend of mine. And some of my best friends in this area are the folks at Stewardship for the 21st Century, an online resource center from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN).  I often point readers of Generous Matters in their direction, and I do so again with this post.

You’ll want to click on over to the Luther Seminary site. There’s a wealth of great stuff waiting for you there, including Pastor Merv Thompson’s top-ten reasons why people become generous stewards. Here’s an abbreviated version of his list:

  1. The senior pastor is giving effective leadership. Weak leadership and weak relationships make for weak stewardship.
  2. People give to vision, not to budgets.
  3. Transformation leads to stewardship. Tithing very rarely comes from the head, it comes from the heart.
  4. Confidence and even in pride in one’s congregation leads to generous giving. If people sense the congregation is on the right track, people will give.
  5. Inspirational worship attracts people to attend, which increases stewardship.
  6. There is an absence of conflict in the church. Those who claim that conflict is healthy for a church – a growing time – have not been leading a congregation lately.
  7. A blend of great commission and the great commandment is necessary for sacrificial giving. Reaching the world for Jesus Christ and responding to the desperate needs of the world are part and parcel of the gospel.
  8. The vision of the congregation is consistently and effectively communicated.
  9. The congregation needs to be focused on team ministry, the priesthood of all believers.
  10. The congregation needs to build strategic partnerships so it is seen as a part of a larger mission.

Do the items on Pastor Thompson’s top-ten list resonate with your experience? What would you add?

For more on this topic, check out:

10 things pastors should remember about giving

Reaching Millennials through stewardship education

Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the doors. Where are the givers?

What's your take on this topic?

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