Children are one of God's greatest gifts. We strive to raise them to be compassionate, appreciative, and kindhearted. As a church we promise to love and nurture them in Christ. One of our responsibilities as communities of faith is to teach our children how to recognize God's abundant gifts of grace, to be grateful for what they have been given, and to be generous. Here are a few ideas to help as we develop the next generation of stewards.
1. Help children see that God has given them many blessings. (This also teaches good self-esteem.)
We recommend to pastors and church leaders that you take the time to "step out" your congregational giving this year. Using a chart like the one in the photo (from Herb Miller's Grow1 Stewardship Program), you can easily see how people are supporting the church as well as challenge members to consider moving up a step. Many congregations share the concern that only a few members are generating most of the church's gifts; at a recent conference we heard from a pastor whose church has 10% of the members giving 45% of its budget.
What is your earliest memory of giving and of receiving? Mine involves my grandmother; she took me out to lunch every year on my birthday, letting me pick the restaurant (as a kid that was usually McDonald’s or Arby’s), and then we went shopping and I got to pick out whatever I wanted as long as it was under a certain limit. As an adult I can appreciate that her giving was how we all should give….selflessly. She didn’t make me eat where she wanted to eat (most likely the K&W Cafeteria or the Carriage House), and she didn’t give me something she thought I should have; she let me choose.
This week we're pleased to share the following from Michael Reeves, one of the authors of Creative Giving.
While the concept of estate planning is a relatively new idea, the principles of managing the assets God provides to us are biblical. Although it is not a biblical statement, the following comment, attributed to Andrew Carnegie, is certainly congruent with these principles: The man who dies rich dies disgraced.
Since October of 2014, I've had the pleasure of working with a dedicated group of individuals at Home Moravian Church who recognized the importance of incorporating planned giving into the Church's year-round stewardship ministry. At our first meeting, the conversation centered around the following questions: