Five Critical Questions in Five Days for Church Stewardship Leaders – #2

This is the second installment of my series on questions church stewardship leaders should be asking.  Leaders want solutions. They recognize a problem and invite corrective measures for undesirable progress. In recent years, church leadership has operated with the same mindset when dealing with the development of congregational stewardship ministry. Leaders want solutions for the flat giving. They want ideas to change the entire stewardship system.

Ideas aren’t always helpful. If a leader lacks the right mental focus or level of commitment, ideas tend to fall into an abyss.  For the ideas to work, change needs to make its way into the leadership.  When leaders change the way they think and the way they assess the problems, the beginning of a new congregational stewardship ministry can begin.

How do leaders face authentic assessment?  They face good questions. Questions travel to places of the heart and mind that advice doesn’t.  Good, thought-provoking questions can lead the leader to a new understanding of him or herself, God, the congregation, and those dreaded discussions about budgets and giving.

For the next five days, I will share a question per day to spur on a new mindset for stewardship leaders.

Question 2:

Do you know the reasons why people are NOT giving?  I think it is valuable to become familiar with the answers to this question.  People have reasons for giving, but they also have important reasons for not giving. Here are a few reasons for the disengagement:

  • They have never been asked—directly. Sure, they may have been asked to give through a letter, but face to face asking in small group gatherings, or even better, in one-on-one conversations is always the best way to go.
  • They are convinced they don’t have enough to give. Some are in debt, some are over consumptive, and some are experiencing both of these realities.  Some are waiting until they make more money to become generous.  All of these excuses need to be considered when planning congregational giving challenges.  The challenge of the leadership is to help people reevaluate their realities and determine ways that giving might still be possible.  Remember, it is never about the amount, it is always about the motive of the heart.
  • They don’t trust the leadership.  Unfortunately, cynicism is prevalent these days.  People are questioning the truthfulness of leadership and are scrutinizing organizational decisions at unprecedented rates.  How can you respond?  Be authentic.  Don’t hide the numbers.  Tell the member exactly how the money being given is being stewarded.  Sometimes the most difficult problems have the simplest solutions.

What are some other reasons people are not giving to support the mission of the congregation?  And, what are some reasons people give to congregations?  In tomorrow’s blog, I will share one of the emerging reasons influencing generous support of congregations.

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