These past few weeks we have been gradually making our way through a series on Church Systems. Last week, we covered the Assimilation and Discipleship System. Today we will be looking at the Stewardship System and Volunteer System.
This is the system by which we develop strong givers. It is a difficult subject to teach mainly because people are sensitive about money but also because we have been witnesses of church leaders taking advantage of the generosity of the faithful. No matter how we feel, the reality is, money is needed for your church to grow. That is why when it comes to stewardship, teaching and modelling is very important. It is not good enough to just teach about giving but we have to model what it means to be a good steward of what God has blessed us with.
Stewardship is important to the spiritual life of every believer. Jesus talked about money very consistently throughout his earthly ministry. Obviously He didn’t do that to gain wealth as He was a travelling teacher who effectively homeless, but He taught it because money matters are closely tied to the human heart. Because of the importance of stewardship, it might be helpful to have a sermon series on the subject once a year. This would give your church the ability to teach on the subject and provide spiritual clarity.
Beyond that, there are a few things that your church might want to look at doing to increase generosity. You can create multiple giving options. We are quickly moving towards a cashless society, most Millennials and Gen Zers do not carry cash, so we need to look at providing other avenues for people to give. At the POS, we have had a bank account for years that is designated for people to use to direct deposit their giving. We also use Tithe.ly in order to accept credit card giving. There are other platforms out there that are great as well, so do your research before you commit to one. But both of these options continue to be critical as our church moves in and out of lockdowns.
Another thing that you can look at to increase generosity, it was something I touched on in my last post, is to develop short offering talks. These are 2-3 minute talks that can be used to explain what giving is, why it is important, what their giving is going towards and even testimonies on how God has blessed individual’s generosity. None of this has to be preachy, or overly spiritual, but it exist to explain what is taking place during the offering.
The last couple suggestions that I have for the Stewardship System is; try to take special offerings throughout the year giving your members something specific to give towards, and finally, consider having your pastor write thank you letters to first-time givers. We know that giving is a spiritual mandate but for a first-time giver this is all new to them so expressing gratitude to them for their gift, no matter how small, is a great way to encourage generosity in their life which will ultimately benefit them.
This is how we mobilise people for ministry. As I mentioned in the first blog of this series, Paul explained in Romans 12 that the church is the body of Christ and every member is unique in what they bring to the body, allowing it to function. Every person who becomes connected to our churches has the ability to impact the Kingdom of God, if they are given the space to do so. This system gives us the ability to plug them into different areas of service in the church, where they can be most effective based on their skills and personality.
We need to create avenues for people to get involved in serving at nearly every level of spiritual growth. It shouldn’t require someone being at our church for years before they able to serve, so think about ways that you can get can get people active. This system works closely with the Assimilation/Discipleship System because people are more likely to stay at a church that they volunteer at. Serving makes them feel a part of the church.
One of the struggles that pastors and church leaders face all over the world is manpower. Their vision tends to outpace the amount of volunteers they have at their disposal. This often leads to frustration but did you know that the number one way that someone starts serving is when they are asked? This is not a general request for help but a personal invitation to serve. Leaders can easily see everything that needs to be done but most of your members are unaware of the many tasks required to organise and run a church. Maybe it’s time to start asking?
Next week we will be looking at the Leadership System and the Strategic System as we wrap up this series that we have been doing on Church Systems.