There are three perceptions that can destroy a stewardship culture in your church. The first is the perception of ingratitude. If you are not really grateful or perceived as though you aren’t grateful, people won’t be generous. We need to thank people and show our gratitude for their giving. We don’t want people to think that we take their stewardship for granted.
A second perception is the perception of waste. If people think that the time and money they give is wasted, it will shut down their generosity. We need to be extremely wise in how we invest what is given.
The third is the perception of duplicity. If people don’t think you are being honest you have a problem. And often it is just a matter of communication. We need to be extraordinarily transparent with the church’s financial affairs. Overtrust people with information rather than under trust. Treat your congregation as though they are smart – because they are.
Finally, building a strong stewardship culture begins with a good look in the mirror. As a leader you need to model it. The culture of any organization is shaped by it’s leadership. The stewardship culture in your church will eventually reflect your personal stewardship.
You need the moral authority to be able to preach it, teach it, and celebrate it. Moral authority comes from doing it yourself. Ron Blue says to leaders: “Handle your personal finances as though they will be published.” The personal mismanagement of money is a spiritual issue. We need to start treating it like one.
Ask yourself – if every household in my church handled money like my household does, would that be a good thing? Would the church be fully resourced? Would they have enough in savings?