Our Congregational Annual Meetings provide an exceptional opportunity to lay the groundwork for generous giving throughout the coming year. Here are some ideas how:
- When you report on your prior year financials, make sure you thank everyone right then and there for their giving as reflected on the financial statement. You may want to point out particular things to be proud of, such as disaster relief or other mission giving. Make them feel good about their giving by…
- TELLING YOUR STORY of how in the past year you have changed lives, how your corner of the world is better because of what you have done in the name of Jesus Christ. There is Good News to proclaim: the gospel has been proclaimed to your young and old alike, the hungry have been fed, the lonely have been visited, the sick have been prayed over and have been wrapped in prayer shawls and love, justice has been strived for, the poor in far off lands have received clean water, the alienated have been welcomed into fellowship, and the despairing have been given new hope. The reign of God is truly visible in our midst because of your ministries in this past year. Proclaim it!
- Thank everyone for their volunteer efforts. These are not reflected in the financials, but are even more valuable than the financial gifts.
- The clarity and accuracy of your financial reports will make people feel good that their gifts have been handled with care and competence.
- Let the vision and mission of your congregation drive all your budget discussions. Know that God has provided you with enough blessings in abundance to do the work God needs you to do (even if there does not seem to be enough to just keep doing what you have always done).
- Thank God with hymns of praise. Thank God for the generous spirit God has placed in your people, thank God for the opportunity to minister in the name of Jesus, thank God for God’s presence, love and wisdom.
The late Andy Gustasfon served as the Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship and Financial Development from 2004 to 2014.