As a pastor, I always found it difficult to communicate about money matters with my congregations. For one thing, I am not gifted with any degree of financial acumen, nor am I particularly interested in the business aspects of the church. Of course, I recognized and taught stewardship principles from the Bible, but my teaching, I'm sure, communicated much more theory than practical counsel.
That is why I was so impressed with the insert in our church bulletin yesterday and the brief presentation made during announcements after the service. Our congregation celebrates the final Sunday of the church year, Christ the King Sunday, with an emphasis on consecration and stewardship. By way of practical application, on this day we designate our financial pledges for the next year.
We are preparing for that day now, and therefore the insert and presentation on Sunday.
- On one side of the insert was, "A revealing breakdown of our congregation's giving patterns." A set of ten steps was pictured, signifying levels of weekly pledged amounts from $0.00 per week to $100.01 plus per week. As the leader instructed us, we wrote down how many member families were giving at each level. This gave us a clear picture in one snapshot of where the whole church is with regard to stewardship.
- On the other side was a table. The far left column listed weekly income amounts from $200 to $3,000. The rest of the columns showed how much it would be to give 15%, 12%, 10%, and so on down to 1% of one's weekly income. Find your income, go across to the percentage you would like to give, and you get the amount. So, for example, if your weekly income was $1,000 and you wanted to give 12%, you go to that box and see that your weekly giving would be $120.
Simple. Practical. Understandable. Effective.