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Do you celebrate those who give to your church?

I was struck recently by the power of resources to transform ministry. The church I attended as a small child received a large legacy that enabled them to build a new building, enabling them to develop a larger ministry for decades to come. On a recent visit for the first time in decades, I was delighted by the continued vibrancy of their ministry. On a commuter route in Seattle, they now have a café which offers drive-through coffee on weekdays.

New buildings don’t guarantee a powerful ministry. Still, having generous givers, whether they give a lot or a little, during their lifetime or after their death, makes a difference in the life of a congregation. We often do little to acknowledge those who give. What can you do to thank givers and to celebrate what they contribute?

Here are ten ideas for celebrating those who give:

  1. Write a thank-you note to each giver of record. My mother taught me to write notes by hand. In today’s world, a hand-written note will make a powerful impression.
  2. Celebrate in worship those who give, outside of stewardship season.
  3. When you highlight a ministry in worship, in a publication or on your website, make a point about those who support it by giving their time and money.
  4. Use social media to thank those who give. (If you don’t know how, ask a young person. If you do know how, teach someone else how.)
  5. Tell the story of someone who left a legacy to the church, recently or long ago.
  6. Celebrate the founding members of your church. If any are still living, thank them in person.
  7. For pastors, preach a sermon celebrating those who give, without asking people to give.
  8. Celebrate and thank those who give sacrificially on a small income.
  9. When you receive the final total in pledges, have a big celebration in worship and after worship.
  10. Ask an artist in your congregation to create something beautiful to celebrate your givers.

Giving may increase – but even better, leaders can feel lighter about the stewardship enterprise. When pastors and church leaders put a positive focus all year long on all those who give, the whole church can benefit.

Originally posted at the Marcuson Leadership Circle

Margaret J. Marcuson

Margaret J. Marcuson speaks and writes on leadership and consults with faith leaders. She blogs at Marcuson's Church Leadership Blog, part of the CCblogs network.

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