My congregation has never done a pledge drive for the general budget in their known history. They have made their budget every year and have paid 100% of their apportionments, but this year we are worrying. The good news is that we always made it, the bad news we give to a budget not out of thanks/stewardship to God.
My plan, two months ago, was to do a three part sermon series on Stewardship/Giving and then on the third Sunday end with asking for pledges. Sermon one would be on why we give to God, ‘cheerful giver’ and the spiritual aspect of giving. Sermon two would be on tithing, the Biblical foundation for tithing and practical advice on how to get to that goal. Sermon three would be on commitment and making that commitment before God and then filling out the pledge cards.
As I have been talking this over with my wife (my sounding board for all ideas good and bad) she wondered if this was good timing. Perfect question and one I know I will have to answer while giving these sermons. While I am working that in my head I would love some other insights.
Here is the rationalizations I am toying with:
- This current financial crisis is making us all realize that we have been living beyond our means. Everything has to be reordered and reconfigured. This is the perfect time to start putting God first, not only in your life but also in your finances.
- This crisis is showing us who we really worship, the high holy dollar. Our faith should not be on our economy but on God. If he will take care of the lilies in the fields, he will take care of us. What we need to do is realize, maybe for the first time, what we truly need to live on. We ask God to give us our daily bread but what we really want is our daily bakery.
Any other thoughts? Are others moving forward with their stewardship plans? What creative ways are you dealing with the shortfalls within your church budgets?