Stewardship requires clarity

It is “stewardship season” in many churches. This piece in “Leadership Matters” reflects on the need for clarity when leading a stewardship campaign:

Being a Stewardship Leader Requires Clarity

By Margaret J. Marcuson in Leadership Matters, from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership

What do you think about financial stewardship? While there are a host of resources for churches on developing giving, it’s important to clarify your own thinking. The clearer you are yourself, the easier it will be for you to offer others a challenge to give.

Here are some questions to ask yourself. Don’t ask them of others until you’ve done some thinking for yourself:

1) Why do you give? For most of us, there is a variety of reasons: our values, our upbringing, our position of leadership, a sense of obligation, love. See if you can untangle some of these threads on your own.

2) Why do you give the amount you give? Do you tithe? Why? Do you and your spouse or partner agree on these matters, and how do you make the decisions you do?

3) Why do you give where you give? Do you give most of your tithe or other charitable giving to the church, or do you divide it up? Why? How do you respond to those phone calls? Do you give to everyone who comes along, or not? Why?

4) What did you learn about giving from your family of origin? I can remember getting a dollar allowance and being expected to give a dime. As a young adult, the first time I chose not to tithe it made me very anxious—I was breaking the family rules. Over time, I had to figure out what I myself thought about those rules.

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