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How our church experienced a 28% increase in giving

By Bethan Walker | 14 July 2015 | Comments (1)

Seasons of Giving is a resource that helped this church income increase by nearly 30%!

"When our church first began an eight-week course on money and generosity, some initial responses were gloomy and feelings were quite negative.

Some people found it embarrassing talking about money, others felt like they had covered this topic before. There were also people who didn’t think they would find the course very helpful for them then to then be asked for more money.

However, a few weeks into the course, feelings were starting to change. People were saying that it was challenging their heart attitudes towards generosity as a whole. It was inspiring them about living a generous lifestyle with their time and resources; not just money.

For us at St Peters Church, we started Stewardship’s Seasons of Giving course because we realised how important it was to open up dialogue within the church to talk more about money and generosity.

Pledged income had been stagnant for several years with many members of our congregation either retiring or taking on lower income work. We were also in desperate need of raising money to fund vital roof repairs.

We covered the Seasons of Giving course in small groups and also in Sunday sermons through February and March 2015. It took place over an eight week period and finished off in a ‘Response Sunday’. During this period we also had prayer meetings and weekly updates as part of our wider stewardship initiative.

After a rocky start, the course progressed well. Then finally our ‘Response Sunday’ arrived. We would discover the impact, if any, of devoting eight weeks to discussing generosity.

And the results…?

Financially, we have received a 28% increase in planned regular giving. This does not include the one-off lump sum gifts that we also received.

We had over 400 offers of time and talents – from cleaning toilets and serving in the kitchen to joining different ministry teams and everywhere in between. The initial idea of kick-starting a ‘stewardship initiative’ had been a success. People wanted to be generous with their time and abilities, not just with their money.

We are really encouraged as a church as a result of undertaking this Stewardship initiative. Using Stewardship’s Seasons of Giving as part of the initiative has challenged and provoked the church spiritually and practically and as a result we are now in a position where we can budget more confidently and have faith that the nearly £100,000 we need for the roof will come in.

God has clearly been at work in the lives of many individuals and in the church as a whole helping us to respond to his overwhelming generosity towards us in Jesus."

Philip Walls, Treasurer at St Peter’s Church, Gildersome

 

What do the church members say?

 

“I enjoyed the course immensely especially as it covered bible texts I had not used before. The course flowed and our group looked forward to the new topic for the week. It helped that the same texts were being used each Sunday.”

Elizabeth (Parochial Church Council member and Reader)

“I did find that reading the book made me think more clearly about the difference between want and need and how even the smallest of our talents can be used to God's glory, even if we don't think we have any!! The book helps focus your thoughts on what you could do and then helps you to realise it is achievable if you put your trust in the Lord.”

Christine (PCC member)

“Our cell group really enjoyed using the book, especially as the sermons were all based around that week's theme. We felt that it gave the whole church a focus - all working towards the same goal at the same time - something that we sometimes struggle to achieve. I believe that the materials were at least partly responsible for the increase in giving in our stewardship campaign.”

Liz (Church Warden)


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Posted by Bethan Walker

Bethan is a marketing and communications executive at Stewardship. Bethan has worked in marketing for seven years and now enjoys working in the not-for-profit sector having previously worked in Professional Services. 

comments:

priscilla

July 17, 2015 8:19 AM
Well written article; love the quotes from the people and treasurer

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