We are quickly approaching Thanksgiving Day, when we are invited to express our gratitude to God for all the blessings we enjoy. We also give thanks for the gifts of family, friends, work, home and food. This are personal expressions. But how do we as church leaders express our gratitude for the faithful people in our churches?

Now is a good time to thank all of the persons, who make it possible for the church to be in ministry and mission. Think about the ones that are out in front and easy to remember. But let’s remember the ones who work behind the scenes making sure everything is ready for our life together. Maybe the pastor and lay leader could send Thanksgiving Cards to all of these folks. It may be possible to thank them in a service of worship. Then what about all the financial resources entrusted to the church?

Consider setting aside a two or three minutes in worship the Sunday before Thanksgiving to give thanks for all those who give to the church. Recognize that givers have many choices these days. Express your gratitude for all that has been received. Then mention what happens because of everyone’s generosity.

You may even discover that gratitude is contagious.

Frequently Heard Phrases

Familiar Phrases about Generosity in the Church

“Preacher, you just preach the gospel, and we will take care of the money.”

Folks ignore the fact that Jesus said a great deal about money and possessions in the gospels.

“I have been a faithful contributor to this church for fifty years.”

I have given $5 per week every week for fifty years.

“If we faithfully witness and serve, the money will follow.”

Every study shows that unless worshippers are educated about generosity, they will not give.

“Everyone is giving as much as he/she can give to the church.”

The average United Methodist gives between 1.4 and 1.7% of his/her income to the church. In many congregations up to one-half of members give nothing.

What are some of the phrases you keep hearing that prevent the development of the spiritual discipline of generosity?

Planned Giving vs. Regular Giving

Planned Giving vs. Regular Giving

It is important to remember that there is no competition between folks making a planned gift and making a regular contribution. Planned gifts come from assets held by the individual, while regular giving comes from a person’s income stream. So the two are not in competition with one another.

In fact, most research shows that persons who make a planned gift to a charitable cause will actually give more on a regular basis. This makes perfect sense when you think about it. Choosing to make a planned gift says, “This ministry is important to me.” So the person is fully committed to the work and ministry of the church.

Asking for a planned gift is not hard to do at all. It is about giving persons an opportunity to participate in the important work of ministry as a final witness to their faith. If you need help with resources, give us a call or send an email.


Telling the Story

Telling the Story

One of my devotional books I use suggested singing “I Love to Tell the Story” this morning.  The chorus goes:

I love to tell the story,
‘Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love.

How are we telling the story of Jesus and His love today? People respond and give because they are moved by the stories of lives being changed through ministry and mission. We often assume that everyone in our congregations know what we are doing, but that is a mistake. People are often unaware of all that is being done to share the story of Jesus and His love.

The time leading up to the offering is a great time to share a thirty second story about how the church is telling the story of Jesus to children or youth. What about the visit by the group to the local nursing home? A portion of your mission shares goes to educate new clergy, who will tell the story of Jesus and His love.

The Foundation can assist you in telling the story of Jesus and His love. Call us or email us today.

Mick Hicks