March 5, 2020

3 Ideas for Lent and Stewardship

There is a collective exhale in Lent that is almost audible. The busyness of the holidays make it hard to catch our breath. Then we hold our breath, hoping that despite icy Sundays and snowbirds who’ve left for warmer climates, our church finances can weather winter.

But now it’s Lent, and we are quiet. Ideally we make room to breathe, to pray, to hope for Spring and resurrection.

Here are three ideas for using this time to breathe some life into your stewardship ministry.

Idea 1: Take stock of your faith community’s planned giving ministry. Are your records up to date as far as who has included the church in their estate plans? Do you have a day planned to celebrate those people? Do you have an up-to-date supply of informational pamphlets? When was the last time you held a workshop or a coffee hour discussion about how to make a planned gift and why these are so important to your congregation’s future?

If you need more ideas to strengthen or begin this ministry, invest in Planned Giving on Demand (click here). It is “a comprehensive package of print and online resources to help you establish, enhance, and sustain an effective planned giving program.”

Idea 2: If you don’t have online or other forms of electronic giving, use this time to research providers and your church’s website capabilities. Create a proposal to present to Vestry that can be approved and executed before the next annual campaign. If you do have online giving, consider ways to freshly publicize it.

The third idea resonates with Lent: prayerful reflection. Compile a list of scriptures and other writings about the spirituality of giving. Jesus talked about money a lot, so there is no shortage. Consider a prayerful retreat-style session for your stewardship committee to reflect on these writings. Perhaps a beautiful theme for your fall annual giving campaign will rise to the surface. It is never too early to intentionally plan a robust, spiritually-grounded annual campaign.