Recently a layperson in one of our Missouri Baptist churches emailed us the following:
“I was just appointed chair of our Stewardship Committee and have been tasked with getting it up and going again after the pandemic. This is new territory for me. Any suggestions or resources would be appreciated.”
Sadly, stewardship is new territory for many people, including pastors. Emails like this were one reason we began the Stewardship Journal. However, the Journal is simply one in an array of tools available. Our goal is to be your stewardship resource to help pastors and lay leaders in this unfamiliar territory.
We thought we would use the occasion of the above email to lay out some of the many tools to help you get your stewardship up and going again. Rob Phillips, who leads our team, and Mark Brooks, The Stewardship Coach, got together to talk about these resources and how to use them.
Rob Phillips: Mark, our Stewardship Journal team exists for emails like this! We have the tools; we need to get them in the right hands at the right time. What was your recommendation for this church?
Mark Brooks: I first recommended that he subscribe to the Stewardship Journal. So, let’s start with the Stewardship Journal and how best to use it. I believe if a church consistently reads the Stewardship Journal, they have a much greater chance of being fully funded. We try to use the Journal to highlight various MBC churches and pastors. We think hearing about others’ success, and even their struggles, strengthen and encourage all of us. We want it to be uplifting. Then, I try to make what I write practical and timely. I write on the topics that churches need to be focused on weeks before that event arrives, like Easter and summer giving. I like to joke that if you follow the Stewardship Journal, you will never need a Minister of Stewardship. And the really cool thing is the Stewardship!
Rob: It is indeed. You can sign up here. We want pastors to know they can send this link to every person on their staff, as well as to their stewardship committees, deacons, and other leaders. You can also browse previous articles here. Mark, what specific ways would you recommend a pastor, or even a layperson, use the Stewardship Journal?
Mark: Again, we try to write on timely subjects filled with practical advice. At a minimum, I would ensure that all my staff and those in leadership, like the chair of the Stewardship Committee that emailed us for help, receive the Stewardship Journal weekly. This will keep everyone in the know about trends in stewardship. The Journal can serve as a great resource and a discussion starter about how to apply the principles at their local church.
The other suggestion I have is for pastors to treat the Journal as their key source of stewardship-related material. I know several pastors that file each newsletter by topic to easily access the issues they need. We do that for you in the archive section. You can see the topic of each Journal, helping you quickly find the issue or topic you are interested in.
Rob: Each week, one key part of the Journal is the Missions and Ministry Moment, or as some like to call them, offering talks. Can you share a bit about these?
Mark: Rob, the easiest way to increase giving at any church is to elevate the offering. We believe the offering isn’t an interruption to worship. It is worship. We believe that in two minutes or less, you should teach stewardship before every offering. The goal is what I call connecting the dots—helping people see the connection of how their gift will change lives. Our Mission and Ministry Moments can be read as they are written or edited to better fit the culture and community of each church. I would use them as discussion starters for my staff or team to create a worshipful offering moment for every service. Doing this one small, simple thing will increase giving at your church. Again, we archive all editions of the Journal, so if you don’t like this week’s talk, you can go and find one that better fits your need.
The Missouri Baptist Convention also provides great tools for use during the offering. Can you share about that?
Mark: Rob, I have a pastor friend who called me a few weeks back on a Friday afternoon needing me to preach for him that Sunday! Of course, I said yes. Interestingly, this church used one of those CP videos as their offering focus that day. It was inspiring to see where our gifts go and what they accomplish. I’ve said for years that it is not that we talk about money that turns people off but how we talk about it. People willingly give when we show what we are doing and how our gifts make that happen. These CP videos are one of the best ways to show ministry and missions in action.
Rob: Thanks for sharing that. CP videos are a fantastic way to show the value of a gift to a Missouri Baptist Church, and the global reach of each autonomous church through CP. There are videos on our site and stories of SBC work around the globe, not only in video form but also in print and other formats. All of these resources can help a church build out a stewardship plan.
So, when it comes to helping your church’s stewardship committee, we are your stewardship resource.