Blessed to Give Campaign: Transformational Stewardship Temple Talk #3…
Stewardship is NOT about Fundraising!
Before we begin, let’s review from last Sunday! Can anyone tell me the most foundational principle of the four foundational principles of Transformational Stewardship?? That’s right…Everything we have…absolutely everything we have comes from God and it belongs to God…we are not OWNERS of the stuff we have…we are STEWARDS!
So, building on that Foundational Principle #1…is Foundational Principle #2…Stewardship is NOT Fundraising. In the old paradigm of Transactional Stewardship…stewardship was all about fundraising…it was about raising the funds required to keep the doors of the church open and the lights on…it was about raising the funds needed to pay the priest’s extraordinary compensation package and the parish assessment to the Diocese. Stewardship, in the old way of thinking was all about fundraising…which is why the annual campaign was usually done in the fall…the time when the annual operating budget was being created. And the question parishioners were asked was, “will you assume your fair share of the responsibility for providing the financial resources to keep the ministry of the church going”. But Transformational Stewardship is the exact opposite way of thinking…Stewardship is NOT about raising the funds needed to operate the church…stewardship is about growing in your relationship to God and to His Son, Jesus Christ…stewardship, in this new way of thinking, is about your formation and growth in Christian discipleship…it is about the health of your relationship to God.
Let me be clear…there is absolutely nothing wrong with fundraising…every church does it to a greater or lesser degree. But Stewardship is NOT about fundraising. Let me try to explain it this way. Suppose when Fr. Dave comes into the office on Monday morning he finds a check on his desk from an anonymous donor for five million dollars (that is a 5 and six zeroes behind it), As a result of this gift, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church would be set financially for years to come…we would never have to worry about money…we could comfortably live off the interest we would earn each year from investing that money…we would never need to do another fundraising project…but we would still need to do an annual stewardship campaign…we would still need to preach/teach about the principles of Transformational Stewardship. Why??? Because stewardship is NOT about fundraising…stewardship is about your growth and your development as disciples of Jesus Christ!
So that is Foundational Principle #2…Stewardship is NOT Fundraising. Next week, Foundational Principle #3…Proportional Giving!!