Te Rongopai DVD
Dr Stuart Lange presents a five-part series documenting the story of the Gospel in New Zealand from Samuel Marsden forwards – its impact, the complications, and the way Christianity has had a significant impact in shaping New Zealand society both then and now.
DVD: 65 mins in 5 chapters and can be played in any zone
Price includes postage and packaging within New Zealand
Donations over $5 are tax-deductible
Time Management and Personal Organisation, by Helen Calder, was peer-reviewed by Wayne Kirkland (Naenae, Lower Hutt, New Zealand)
Many churches struggle with balancing the books and with inspiring their congregation about giving. This eight point approach was developed in two large churches in the UK. It emphasises the importance of a vision and mission for the church that is understood and owned by the congregation.
Many churches rarely mention money in their sermons or in their communications until there is a financial crisis. At that point they often only talk about the deficit, rather than inspiring the congregation with the vision and mission that together they are engaged in.
In my experience every church needs a joined up plan, a jigsaw if you like, which integrates several aspects of the church’s activities. I call this a strategy for giving. Each church needs to develop and implement its own customised giving strategy. This can be based on the strategy and the methodology for developing and implementing a strategy explained in this resource.
It’s important to recognise at the outset that giving isn’t just about money, it includes time, talents, practical service and prayer. In any congregation there will be those who are “richer” in some aspects of these than in others.
Here are a series of steps to help you develop and implement your tailored church giving strategy.
1. Engage the leadership team (PCC, elders, diaconate or ministry team) in discussion to ensure they understand and support the church’s vision and so that they buy into all the aspects of the giving strategy (or to developing one) and to the method of implementation.
2. Use an interactive approach to obtain feedback and to facilitate the cross fertilisation of ideas. With a larger group (such as a church council) it may help to use a structured conversation process (known by some as a World Café) for opinion and information sharing in which small groups discuss a series of topics at several tables, each with a well-briefed table host. People move tables every ten minutes or so and are introduced to the previous discussion at their new table by the table host. The host records the comments, questions and ideas on flipchart paper on the table for all to see.
Here are some suggested questions you could use, grouped by 4 themes which link to the strategy:
What is (or should be) the church’s current vision and mission?
What would help church members understand and own the vision and mission better?
How can the church community pray more effectively about its vision, mission, activities and finances?
Finance & Giving strategy
What’s good about the proposed giving strategy concept that’s been outlined?
Is there anything you’d add to the giving strategy for this church?
Is there anything you think should be removed from the giving strategy?
Should anything be done to strengthen and support the church finance team?
What topics around money, giving, generosity and stewardship/trusteeship does our congregation need preaching and teaching on to help them in discipleship?
What other ways could we practically educate our congregation about:
Their use of money
How can we raise awareness & increase congregational engagement with:
The church’s vision and mission.
The annual budget in the context of the vision & mission.
Current income levels, the financial forecast for the year and where appropriate the need to increase income/giving
What opportunities and practical means might facilitate an increase in giving?
Of course you may also like to ask all church attendees to answer these questions, perhaps undertaking an on-line survey using Survey Monkey www.surevymonkey.co.uk
3. Ask each facilitator to write a summary of views and suggested actions from all that’s been discussed on their theme. This should be given to the person or team tasked to develop the strategy. The answers will be different in every church.
4. The feedback is worked into a draft implementation plan or several plans (one for each of the discussion themes) by the person or ideally a small working group tasked to develop the giving strategy. The tasks identified will need to be prioritised. Each plan should have a champion and the plan will show tasks with the name of the person undertaking on each task and a suggested completion date. Tasks can be shared between ministers, treasurer, other members of the leadership team, church staff and congregation members, as relevant to the particular setting. NB The exercise may identify that the congregation (and even some leaders) aren’t clear about the church’s vision and mission or there may not be one in place yet. This is the priority before giving can be addressed.
5. The giving strategy and implementation plan is reviewed by the church leadership, then edited as appropriate, before being affirmed and approved by them.
6. The champions implement the tasks in the plans and report progress to the church leadership for example at leadership team meetings or church council meetings at appropriate (eg quarterly) intervals.
HH: “What the Bible says about money” outlines some of the main Biblical themes on money.
HH: “A balanced portfolio for mission support” suggests a method for analysing and reviewing how a church budget is allocated across different types of mission and ministry locally, nationally and globally.
HH: “How much to give?” Offers a personal method for discerning what to give to and amounts to give.
HH: “A project management framework” offers a simple methodology for undertaking projects in small organisations.
“Just Money: the vision of shalom” by New Zealand author Wayne Kirkland offers insights and suggestions on how we can live a life of faith in a materialistic culture, looking at what the Bible says and how to live counter culturally.
“The grace of giving: money and the gospel” by John Stott and Chris Wright goes through the Apostle Paul’s teaching on giving. Its 10 principles of Christian giving answer questions about when to give, what to give, and in what spirit to give.
Stewardship is a UK charity helping the Christian community to give www.stewardship.org.uk It has a wealth of resources and blogs on its website including:
What is Biblical Stewardship? https://www.stewardship.org.uk/blog/blog/post/555-faq-what-is-biblical-stewardship
Stewardship money resources https://www.stewardship.org.uk/resources/money-resources
Seasons of Giving course https://www.stewardship.org.uk/be-inspired/seasons-of-giving—a-group-resource-from-stewardship-1
CAP Money courses in New Zealand and UK offer three session interactive courses that encourage people to budget, save and spend wisely http://www.capnz.org/get-help/cap-money-course or https://capuk.org/i-want-help/courses/cap-money-course/introduction
For more detail on how to run an interactive “World Café” style discussion.
http://www.theworldcafe.com/key-concepts-resources/world-cafe-method/ and https://www.mutualgain.org/training/world-cafe/
Produced by Helen Calder, Helen’s Headlines are short resources with a Christian ethos for anyone involved in leadership of a Christian charity or church, especially smaller ones. With 40 years of experience, including 17 years as executive director: finance and services at the Evangelical Alliance, Helen is well-placed to share the lessons she has learnt during a career in industry and the Christian charity sector.
Each resource introduces key points on a topic, often including a checklist for action and signposts to more detailed information on the subject. They cover aspects of the following areas: governance, strategy, management and leadership, money, personal matters and end of life.
All Helen’s Headlines resources are available for anyone who finds them useful. This includes trustees, staff and volunteers of charities and churches, as well as individuals.
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