Monday, May 28, 2018

Stories of Enhancing Trust - Ron Blue Institute

Starting a Stewardship Ministry

Our relationship with money has a significant impact on our relationship with God and others. However, at the mention of finances, our first instinct is to make a polite yet speedy departure. We can’t afford to let something that touches nearly every aspect of our lives to go unaddressed in church. Michael Blue, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Ron Blue Institute, joined us on an ECFA podcast with tips for forming a stewardship ministry in your church.
  1.  Start at the top. Whoever is in charge for setting the direction of the church needs to be on board. To flourish, the spirit of this ministry needs to filter down from the top leaders into every other ministry.

  2. Identify a stewardship leader and begin to build a team. These people will lead in ways that others can’t, so don’t be afraid to ask about spiritual and financial maturity. People can be trained in technical aspects, but more important is a heart for generosity.

  3. Celebrate simple acts of generosity. Whether in a staff meeting or in church, give people an opportunity to see what it looks like to live a life of stewardship. Stories and testimonies can provide vital encouragement.

  4. Have a church-wide event to kick it all off. Start a sermon series or a bible study. Look for further opportunities to integrate the ministry throughout the church.

  5. Measure success in ways that matter. The most obvious standard is, of course, giving. However, that is a dangerous metric. Measure your stewardship ministry’s success as you would any other discipleship ministry: by hearts aligned with God’s in finances, spiritual maturity, and growth- not dollars coming in the door.
We want the church to be seen as the center of financial wisdom. For that to happen, we need to be willing to talk about it, and be able to speak from a position of confidence. A healthy stewardship ministry will minister to people on all levels, from struggling to surplus. The goal is to impart a biblical understanding of stewardship and create lasting change within people’s hearts.