Is it time for your annual congregational stewardship campaign?
Looking for some new ideas for your stewardship ministry? The Rev. Renee LiaBraaten, Associate to the Bishop for Generosity, has gathered everything you need to launch a "What's Your Story?" Annual Stewardship Campaign in your congregation. Check below for the links to access all the materials referenced here.
This year’s Synod-wide Annual Stewardship Appeal theme is “What’s Your Story?” It is an invitation to open our hearts to one another—to deepen the bonds of friendship among the people who gather in our congregations. It is a reminder that faithful stewards share not only their time, talent and treasure. They also share their stories, as a way of sharing themselves.
Jesus knew that sharing a simple story had the power to draw people in, to engage their imaginations, and eventually transform them. As followers of Jesus, we are also called to share our stories. Over and over again, we hear Jesus say, “Go and tell…” Sharing our stories can help others catch a glimpse of God at work amid our ordinary, everyday lives, and that glimpse might be all that is needed to ignite or fan the flame of faith in the heart of another.
We are so fortunate that our Bishop, Jim Hazelwood, felt called by God to share his story, and the stories of many others, in his recently published book entitled Everyday Spirituality. Included in these stewardship resources is a three-week “What’s Your Story?” adult discussion series based on 3 different chapters of the book. The chapters are short and provide lots of food for thought. This program is outlined in detail in the document listed below.
This year’s stewardship appeal is also a perfect time to invite some people in your congregation to “share a story” of how they experience God’s presence in their everyday lives as part of the worship services leading up to Commitment Sunday. The goal is to engage 3 people representing different age groups to share a story. These stories can be shared right before the offering—helping people connect to the truth that sharing our stories is a form of offering ourselves to God and others. Before the storyteller shares their story, the congregation should be invited to join in singing verse 4 of ELW # 676 “Lord, Speak to Us that We May Speak.”
Enlisting your story tellers should be done several weeks before the appeal kicks off so that there is adequate time for the individuals to prepare and receive coaching, if desired. Reading Bishop’s Hazelwood’s book would be a great way to help people prepare because he does a terrific job of pointing out the ordinary ways that we connect with God or the spiritual dimension of our lives every single day!
Another optional idea for your appeal program is creating a video to show at the brunch. It would involve asking individuals of all ages to answer to one of the following questions, (or others of your choice) and recording their answer. What is the funniest thing you ever saw happen in church? What is one of your favorite things about our church?
Documents available for download: