Monday, November 8, 2010

Stewardship Signposts (East Ohio AC)

Once your financial secretary has recorded all of your pledges for the coming year, it’s time to do some dissection of those results.

Let’s start with the obvious. What was the total? And how did it compare to last year? What was the average pledge? What was the mean pledge? How do those compare with the previous year or two? How do your averages compare with similar United Methodist churches near you?

How do they compare with other denominations in your zip code?
Look at your top ten or 20 giving units. Is anyone new on this list? If there is, what happened to those who fell off this top tier? Do we know why this change occurred?

What are ages of your top 20 donors? This will typically be older than the average age of your congregation, but if all of them are 75 or older, this may suggest real challenges for your church finances in the coming years. It takes, on average, seven new members to make up the giving of one saint of the church who has passed away. Few of our churches have seven times as many professions of faith as they do deaths. How will that lost income be made up?



Tithing used to be emphasized a lot more in the past as necessary to lead a good Christian life but has fallen out of favor.

I recently taught my students about stewardship which included a lesson on tithing. I thought it was an important lesson to teach because my experience is that people don’t think that it is important to give money to the Church. Some people get extremely offended when they are told that the Church needs money. They don’t think it is the Church’s business what they do with their money and how dare the Church tell them that they have to give what they have worked so hard for and deserve. Some have actually walked out of the church when the priest has to give his once-a-year homily on the finances of the church.

In the Gospels, Jesus teaches so many lessons about money. Why? Because it is so hard to detach ourselves from money. It is so easy to justify keeping and using money.

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

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