Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Where Your Treasure Is: Eight shifts in stewardship thinking

By Phyllis Bowers, Executive Director United Methodist Stewardship 
Foundation

On September 19, Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries at the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship, offered a powerful and moving Stewardship Seminar at Shavertown United Methodist Church. His focus on changing churches and transforming lives came down to eight vital shifts in stewardship thinking, with a summary as follows:

  1. Move from seasonal to continual: Why aren’t we talking about all ways of giving in all seasons?
  2. Move from an attitude of scarcity to one of abundance: Did you know that in 2012, United Methodists gave $6.2 billion, or $121 million per week, which is an average of $12,000 per second, 24/7?
  3. Move from “got to” to gratitude: Instead of telling of our duty and obligation to give, why not emphasize the community and hope we are celebrating as the body of Christ when we give?
  4. Move from purse to purpose: If people are inspired by ownership and difference-making in our ministries, how can we share the impact of our global collaboration as part of their story too?
  5. Move from numbers to narrative: What if we understood how stories touch hearts and lead to more giving than facts and figures?
  6. Move from theirs to ours: In what ways have we shared that our Methodist connection working together has done more than any one church could do on its own?
  7. Move from mortar to mission: What if we weren’t as concerned with maintaining a building as we were about sustaining our focus outside the walls?
  8. Move from members to disciples: If “members gather, but disciples are sent,” what’s your church’s exit strategy? 

Dr. Sloane warned that no church can do all eight changes of heart and mind at once. Yet with God’s help, one change can lead to another. May you move into this new season with a high expectation of returning to God, not just our blessings from him, but ourselves as well. Why not contact The Stewardship Foundation (sfcpa@susumc.org or 800-272-0113) for your next step in stewardship education, planned giving, and investing?

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