By Brian Dodridge
If I gave your church $100,000 to invest in your ministry, would you be ready?
If I increased the time your workers gave by 100,000 hours, how would you use it?
Stewardship. We know it’s biblical. We know we have people gifted in time, talents, and treasure. But we face problems seeing it surface in our churches. Why?
- We don’t connect people’s resources to compelling vision.
- We don’t show people the strategic “how” behind implementation.
- We haven’t well-stewarded what we already have.
- We lack a system and structure to implement.
- We haven’t intentionally asked.
How do we encourage our church members to put their time, talents, and treasures back on the table?
As leaders, we may have to mine for resources and curate them, but this is a part of our stewardship responsibility. We are members and stewards of the body of Christ, and God has given His church the resources to fulfil His mission. We must maximize it.
Compel people by a vision and convince them with a need.
People long to know their contributions matter to the kingdom and the church’s vision. You often see the big picture. But, they might not. Tell them. Paint them the picture of how their individual time, effort, finances, and energy advance the kingdom.
Show them the systems and structures.
If people are going to give big with their time, talents, and treasures, they want to know the implementing “how.” You see (or see you need to strengthen) the way their resources are managed. They don’t know as easily. Show them the strategy, the practical pathways connecting resources to the vision.
We ask weakly. “We really just need you to be here, an hour a week to teach, tops …” “Consider giving financially, whatever seems comfortable to you …” We forget the New Testament standard of giving: giving all we have and laying our lives down. People often step up when they’re called up. We might be surprised what happens when we raise the bar.
Take the mindset.
As leaders, it’s not just about filling ministry roles and paychecks through our people. It’s shifting our mindset by asking ourselves “How can I maximize everyone’s time, talents, and treasures?” It’s developing people to follow Christ with all that we are, even as we model stewardship with our time, talents, and treasures.
We’re all responsible. Responsible to steward our resources. Responsible to lead our people into stewarding theirs. With Matthew 25 before us, let’s not get so focused on the small things that just matter to us so that we miss what matters to Him. Let’s use our lives well.
Adapted from Pipeline 2016: Developing Your Leadership Pipeline. To learn more about how to lead in stewardship, check out our free Ministry Grid courses Introduction to Leadership Pipeline and Leadership Pipeline Competency Overview.