Stewardship in difficult times

Many parishes across the country are in the middle, or getting ready to begin their yearly stewardship/pledge drive campaigns. With the DOW index hovering around 8000 this afternoon, and people watching the savings evaporate, how do we manage to think about the needs of the Church and World when we’re hurting so badly?

Terry Parsons, formerly the Missioner for Stewardship and Discipleship for the Episcopal Church, gave a talk in Southwest Virginia on just how to do this.

Christie Wills has posted her notes from Terry’s talk on the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia’s website.

The short, highly edited version has seven key points with two addenda for leaders:

1. Pray.

2. Bible study.

3. Rebuke scarcity.

4. Claim abundance.

5. It is more important to nurture holy habits than to fret over a budget.

6. Say thank you.

7. You can’t sell soap if you don’t take a bath.

Parsons had particular advice for leaders of churches:

8. In churches, sometimes the conversation comes down to cutting expenses or increasing income. Faith is always found when focusing on the income side. ‘Sometimes the bad news is that ministry costs money. The good news is that we have the money. The terrible news is that the money is in our pockets,’ said Parsons.

9. As a church we are called to confront the culture of greed and the spectacle of debt. We must do this for ourselves and as an example to our children.

You can find the full version of the notes and some additional material here. Might be worth forwarding to your parish stewardship chair this week.

Have you seen anything useful, or have any great tips to share? How about posting them in the comments below…

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