Generosity is foundational to Christianity, the Father's generosity with creation, Christ's generosity in his death and resurrection, the Spirit's generosity breathing life into each moment.
If you have any questions about Stewardship, please do contact Chris Boden, your Diocesan Stewardship Officer, who would be really happy to chat with you about it.
Generosity is at the heart of our faith, we believe in a generous God and our own generosity is a testament and hallmark of our faith in action. The ministry and mission of The Church of England is largely funded through the incredible generosity of those who give to it.
We often begin looking at fundraising and stewardship in moments of need and urgency; the church roof suddenly needing repairs, a large gas bill appearing in the treasurer's inbox, and so our response is entirely practical, how can we get this money to solve the problem so we can focus on the next thing. Sometimes, we begin when we suddenly experience great generosity, through a legacy left to the Church and we are unsure how to begin the conversations to discuss this.
However, spending a little time thinking about stewardship can help your Church plan and secure its finances, and engage your congregation with jointly owning their finances and praying for them, developing a discipleship of generosity within their own lives. For stewardship to be embeded in the discipleship of your church requires not just those who understand the figures and finances, but also those who can tell the Good News stories of what your money is doing; those who can encourage others to look at generosity in their own lives; and those who can communicate the vision and hopes of the Church.
The video below, produced by the Church of England, helps explain their current model for building a generous church, and more resources can be found at their website here, including details of free webinar training.
Where to begin with stewardship
Step 1: Pray
Spend some time in prayer thinking about generosity, where does it appear in the Bible, both with God being generous to us, and humanity being generous with one another?
Step 2: Look at where you already are
You will already be somewhere with stewardship: you will have some mechanisms for how people can give, your congregation will give for different reasons such as to maintain a ministry or to look after the building, you may run fundraising events. So, the next step is to look at what you already have and then decide where you need to go from there.
It may help, at your PCC or with a small group who want to look at stewardship, to work through our Giving Review.
Step 3: Getting your mechanisms in place
Once you know what methods you want to use to help encourage giving it is time to get those mechanisms in place. Please visit our page of Mechanisms in order to find out the latest information about them all.
Step 4: Start talking about generosity
There are many ways to start talking about generosity. If you only have a few minutes, and are able, you might want to show a video, such as the one below, to begin the conversation.
Step 5: Say thank you!
This is one of the most important pieces of advice. Whenever you get the opportunity say thank you. In a recent nationwide survey of Anglicans who regularly attend church, less than a third say that they are regularly thanked for their giving.