Spicy Stewardship – California Southern Baptist Convention

Spicy Stewardship

Published Jul 18, 2023

If your church needs a little revitalization, it’s possible that stewardship might need some extra love. I’m not making assumptions without some real life experience in the matter! When I became the pastor of the church where I currently serve, the church was twelve months from bankruptcy. We are now years past that and never missed a payment! In fact, our kingdom impact is greater than ever.

Yours can be too.

Here are six fantastic ways to spice up stewardship and raise awareness throughout your church family.

  1. Model it like a pro: It’s been said – church health rises and falls with the pastor. So, if we’re not rocking sacrificial giving with your finances, we can’t exactly expect the church to do better. Remember, we work for Christ, and He’s got His eyes on how we handle those church resources. Let’s use those “little benefits” accounts with the church’s needs in mind. Personally, I usually end up buying my own books, treating others to meals with my own cash, and cruising to far-away trips in my own vehicle. It can be difficult but filled with joy. In fact, you might be surprised that the old saying is true: “You can’t out-give God.”
  1. Teach it like a boss: From the very beginning, God wanted us humans to be top-notch managers. From the first conversation in the Garden of Eden, stewardship was our thing! We’ve got this garden, this church, and these families to take care of. And it turns out, when we manage our personal and church assets like pros, we’re actually glorifying God. If you are in the CSBC, I recommend reaching out to the Church Matters team and the Baptist Foundation of California. These organizations are filled with godly people who understand church life and have resources and wisdom available for you.
  1. Let’s shake things up: When a church is in need of a revitalization boost, one of the first suggestions is to take a good look at that budget. Here’s my golden rule: “It’s all about those expenses, not just the income!” It’s a time to go line-by-line and ask ourselves some burning questions. “Do we really need to spend money on this? Can we rope in some volunteers to lend a hand? Is there a better deal we can snag?” And let’s not forget, no matter the size of the church, there should be enough adults to handle their own messes and care for those facilities. We ought to rethink those underlying assumptions and keep things fresh!
  1. Transparency is the name of the game: You don’t need a finance degree to read the church budget, my friend. Let’s be real, most budgets are filled with words and abbreviations that make us all scratch our heads. But what people really want to know is simple: how much money came in, and how much was spent? They’d love to see those percentages of budgeted receipts and expenses. So, let’s give them the bigger picture. It’s a good idea to have two budgets: one that’s super simple, (even my 10-year-old can understand it), and one that’s generated by accounting software that’s basically a mystery to me. We need to be totally transparent with our church’s finances because, truly, it’s their money! If the report isn’t great, let’s own up to it and explain why. And when things are amazing, let’s celebrate like there’s no tomorrow! Oh, and a little tip – keep the financial updates within the church family – guests don’t need all the nitty-gritty.
  1. Give with a mission in mind: When we think about stewardship, we often zoom in on finances alone. Once we’ve taught, illustrated, and been transparent, it’s time to inspire the church to give sacrificially for the mission and ministry. Don’t be afraid to ask! We’re not just talking about paying our own paychecks here. We’re asking the church family to give for incredible things. We’re talking about children hearing the gospel for the first time, people hearing the good news in their own language, churches being planted, disaster relief, and caring for those in need. We need to boldly challenge the church to give with joy and purpose.
  1. Celebrate like there’s no tomorrow: Now here’s the secret sauce that often gets overlooked—celebration! When you reach a giving goal, make sure everyone knows about it. Did you renegotiate that loan, the electric bill, or the copy contract? Shout it from the rooftops! The church will follow your lead and get excited about what you celebrate. So, let’s party it up in the name of stewardship. And I’m not just talking about finances—celebrate the fantastic ways people care for the grounds or clean the buildings. All of that is stewardship, and guess what? It’s all worship!

My friend, let’s lead our churches to be top-notch stewards of the amazing resources—people, energy, money, and time—we’ve been entrusted with. If we guide them in the right direction, and show them that everything we do is an act of worship, we’ll have a blast and watch the blessings of God flow through our church and into the community.