No one likes to do a stewardship campaign, but everyone needs to; not because our churches need money, but because we all need Jesus as the master of every area in our life. When we think about stewardship and generosity in general, specifically regarding money, we think about these guiding principles:
- Everyone needs this
- If you don’t have the money thing right; you won’t have the heart thing right
- Generosity ought to be talked about and encouraged in every service, year round. For us this comes in the form of a weekly generosity moment in every service that sometimes simply highlights the 3 easy ways to give, and at other times highlights what people are giving to, or why they are called to give.
- The more generous our church is; the more generous the people will be
- Giving should be simple and easy
- You are not giving to a church/budget/pastor/specific need (we are not raising a budget); you are giving to God
- Tithing is a biblical command that we should teach
- People give to vision
- There is no such thing as non-givers; rather there are always potential givers
- We all have a need to give
Like many churches, we have a stewardship team that helps develop the sermon series, plan the stewardship process for that year, and execute all the advertising and logistics of that process. Our planning process starts in the early Fall, begins to be executed by the end of January, and ends with the sermon series at the end of February/beginning of March before spring break (not counting our follow up process that lasts about a month afterward). A huge help for us has been a coaching resource by The Rocket Company called Giving Rocket. We require our campus pastors to go through a year of coaching by Giving Rocket because it’s so helpful for understanding why we always talk about generosity, and it provides tons of SUPER helpful tools for your church. You can find out more here. You really do need this resource!
Regardless of the series, we always teach about tithing in the second message of the series, right before the commitment weekend. Here are our 2 most recent sermon series on stewardship:
Series Idea 1: First
What we put first in our life matters. If we’ll choose to put God FIRST, in our living and giving, we can touch more lives, connect greater numbers of folks to Christ, and help the Kingdom of God expand. As a church we’ve experienced God do more things through us this past year than ever before, and we think we are just seeing the beginning of what God is going to do as we allow Him to use us! Let’s keep God FIRST, and see what God can do!
(Note: This series was developed and inspired by the book and sermon package written by Mike Slaughter called “First”)
Week 1: The Competition
Key Scripture: Matthew 6:33
- Make God FIRST in your life – Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
- Idol – Anything, or anyone, that receives the primary focus of my energy or resources, which should first belong to God (Mike Slaughter)
- Idols are good things that we make god things, and that’s a bad thing (Mark Driscoll)
- 2 Kings 17:38-41 (NCV)
- Idolatry is worshipping the gift instead of the Giver – Romans 1:21-25 (NIV); Exodus 32:2-4 (NIV)
- We become what we worship – Psalm 135:15-18 (God’s Word)
- Idols never deliver what they promise
- Identify & Eliminate the Competition
Week 2: The Challenge
Key Scripture: Matthew 6:33; 2 Chronicles 31:2-10
- Make God FIRST – Matthew 6:33
- 2 Chronicles 31:1-10
- Cleanse – vs.1-2
- Give – vs.3-8
- Live – vs.9-10; Haggai 1:5-6 & 9-11; Acts 4:32-37; Matthew 6:33
- Challenge – Examine and ask – how can I put God first in giving?
Week 3: The Commitment
Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
- What’s my commitment going to be?
- Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 (NIV1984)
- What contribution do you want to make? – v.6; Deuteronomy 14:23 (TLB)
- What is my attitude toward my giving? – v.7
- Do you trust God to provide? – v.8; Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
- Are you ready for the next level of generosity? – vs.10-11; 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV1984)
- For whatever you give: How much of yourself are you giving to God? – v.11; Mark 12:41-44 (NIV1984)
- They put in a lot of money but only a fraction of themselves; she put in a fraction of money but all of herself.
Series Idea 2: What if…?
“What if?” That phrase can strike fear in all of our hearts and minds as we consider all the things that could go wrong in our world, especially when it comes to our finances. Security is one of our basic needs, and thinking about all the “what if’s” can cause panic and anxiety when we think about future plans. But what if the “what if” question wasn’t as much about fear, but about possibility? What if when we trust God, He can do far more with what we give, in our lives and in the lives of others, than we could possibly imagine or do on our own? Join us for our series, WHAT IF…?, where we’ll be imagining what God would do through us if we would really trust Him with what He’s blessed us with.
Week 1: What if…we humble ourselves and pray?
Key Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
- What if the “what if” question wasn’t as much about fear, but about possibility?
- 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (NIV)
- Possibility is always just a turn away
- The Turning Process
– We can’t have the promises without the process
- Humble ourselves & Pray – Proverbs 22:4a (NIV); John 3:27-28, 30 (NIV); 2 Chronicles 33:10-13 (NIV); Matthew 6:5-8
- Seek His face – 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV); 1 Chronicles 22:19 (ESV); Colossians 3:1-2 (ESV)
- Turn from our wicked ways – Psalm 10:4 (NLT); Ezekiel 33:10-17 (NIV1984)
Week 2: What if…we seek God first?
Key scripture: Matthew 6:19-34
- Matthew 6:19-34 (NLT) – give context while they’re turning there
- Proactive Generosity
o What it’s not
- A tax – Luke 18:9-14
- The leftovers – Malachi 1:8 (NLT); Numbers 18:29 (NLT)
- A bribe
- A fundraiser for the Church
- An option – Deuteronomy 14:22-23(NLT); Matthew 23:23 (NLT)
o What it is
- The first tenth – Leviticus 27:30-32 (NLT); Proverbs 3:9-10 (NIV)
- God’s plan of provision for His People – Deuteronomy 12:11 (NLT); Nehemiah 13:10-12 (NLT); Acts 2:44-45 (NLT); Acts 4:34-35 (NLT)
- Given freely – 2 Corinthians 9:7-9 (NLT)
- Regular – 1 Corinthians 16:2 (NLT)
- A test – Luke 16:11; Malachi 3:10 (NIV)
- A way that God blesses us – 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 (NLT)
Week 3: What if…we do something extraordinary?
Key Scripture: Isaiah 54:1-4a
- Isaiah 54:1-4a (NIV1984)
- Enlarge your capacity – vs.1-2; Isaiah 43:18-19; 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
- Stretch your commitment – v.2; 2 Co. 9:6 (NIV); John 12:24 (NLT); 2 Co. 9:13-14 (GNT)
- Expand your influence – vs.3-4; John 6:10-13 (NIV)