In 2022, Church Anew launched a new resource aimed at congregations and leaders, called “Lent-in-a-Box.” The idea behind this resource was an acknowledgement that Lent often adds more on top of already busy preaching and teaching schedules, and sometimes it’s nice to be given a theologically trustworthy bit of help. Instead of each church community writing, planning, teaching, and creating everything from scratch, Church Anew designed, created, and offered helpful tools and themes for the Lenten season.
Lent-in-a-Box was a complete success, utilized by and connecting over 350 church communities across denominations, states, and church size. We even had a few international participants! (We see you, Norway and Canada!)
With this success, the team at Church Anew decided to double down and create another “in-a-Box” resource around the topic of stewardship – this time in partnership with the Stewardship Leaders Program at Luther Seminary. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to August when we will bring you: Stewardship-in-a-Box.
Stewardship has long been a challenge in the life of many congregations and their leaders but never more so than in recent years. With attendance and giving both down, it is more important than ever that we are not only clear with what we are asking, but are also clear with our why.
Just as stewardship is a challenge for congregations, we also know this subject can also be challenging for people of faith. For so many of us, even hearing the word “stewardship” can conjure up images of pastors begging for money, congregation leaders shaming people into giving more to a deficit budget, or biblical narratives about money that don’t seem to align with how we use money today. What would it look like to use a stewardship season to help people unpack some of their baggage around money while also helping them better align their faith and their finances?
The resources in this virtual box are meant to help with all of this. They will:
- Alleviate the stress and fear for leaders by giving them practice making a clear and compelling financial ask to their community
- Help congregations pay attention to the Spirit’s work in their midst, naming the dreams and the needs of their community while making a case for financial support
- Build skills among professional and lay leaders for effective stewardship leadership
- Invite people of faith to get curious about what it means for each of us, youthful and elder, to be generous from the abundance that God has entrusted to them
Using tried and true methods from fundraising experts and stewardship leaders, this resource will help congregations from the beginning to the end of a stewardship campaign. This is not an “all or nothing” resource, that everyone follows exactly and word for word. It is meant to be more of a “choose your own adventure,” setting each congregation up for stewardship success in the way that fits their context best.
Our inaugural Stewardship-In-A-Box theme is “You Have Heard it Said…” This worship and spiritual practice series will help people of faith unpack some of what they have heard about money and generosity, reflect on how God might be calling them to use all of their money (not just the portion they give away), and discern how people of all ages might participate in God’s mission in their congregation financially and otherwise. Drawing people of all ages into conversation, it will make a compelling case for developing a spiritual practice around all forms of generosity.
A ready-made resource for congregations of every size, Stewardship-In-A-Box will include:
- Preaching Prompts for pastors, deacons, lay-preachers, synodically authorized ministers (SAMs), and anyone sharing a sermon.
- Worship and Liturgical Resources including song/hymn suggestions, calls to worship, and prayers of the day.
- At Home Practices for households of every size and shape that center Christian faith in ordinary moments of life.
- Stewardship Basics for church councils, stewardship committees, or rostered leaders looking to grow their toolkit.
- Stewardship Campaign Tools that help church leaders communicate God’s work in and through their congregation and ask for financial support
- Customizable Campaign Material that centers the mission of your congregation, shares a message from your leader(s), features photos from your church, and has a clear call-to-action for financial support.
Register to attend an Equipping Event and get access to all the resources.
- Online Equipping Event: Thursday, August 10, 2023 from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM Central Time
- In-Person Equipping Event: Thursday, September 21, 2023 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Central Time.
Look for more information about Stewardship-In-A-Box later this summer. Our next author will be the director of Church Anew, Pastor Matthew Ian Fleming. We hope these resources give you the support you need for a stewardship campaign.
Church Anew: Natalia Terfa and Matthew Fleming
Stewardship Leaders Program: Grace Pomroy and Arlene Flancher