Below you will find some stewardship response resources to assist you in planning your congregation’s stewardship response emphasis. These resources are well-written response programs that intentionally provide a way to invite members to grow in their giving and share their gifts for ministry.
First, We Give of Ourselves is a three-year stewardship response program designed for congregations that wish to help members grow in their understanding of stewardship as a faith and discipleship practice.
Generosity and Mission
A video stewardship message from Bishop Jeffrey Clements (September 2016).
Because of God’s Great Mercy
If you have completed the three-year First, We Give of Ourselves program and are looking for another option, you might consider a resource produced by “Embracing Stewardship” entitled “Because of God’s Great Mercy.” You can order this resource by going to www.embracingstewardship.com
This resource contains helpful information about stewardship ministry and contains a financial stewardship response program that you might choose to use in your annual stewardship response program.
For a copy of the magazine contact Rev. Kurt Nordby, Assistant to the Bishop or visit this website.
This is an annual ELCA publication that is a helpful resource as you share the stories of our ELCA ministries. Articles, stories of ministries, and other helpful information help our members see the “big picture” of our ELCA’s participation in God’s mission. This resource can be ordered through the ELCA and are free of charge. You do have to pay shipping however. “Stories of Faith in Action” can also be accessed through the ELCA website where you can download the articles and information in the magazine for bulletin inserts, newsletter articles, displays, and the like.
Suggested Stewardship Response Programs
- New Consecration Sunday – Herb Miller
- – Eugene Grimm
- Walk with Jesus – Charles Lane
- “Found Faithful” – 2013 “Giving” magazine
If I can be of any assistance, let me know. My office number is 309-794-4004. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Kurt Nordby, Assistant to the Bishop
Ministry Touching Lives in the Northern Illinois Synod
Synod Vice-President Bill Bartlett Speaks About Stewardship
(from the 2013 Discipleship Gatherings: Giving)
Download Mr. Bartlett’s Stewardship Video (right click and save to computer – .mov file 1244.34MB)
Dear friend in Christ,
At the end of last year, I was attending my congregation's council meeting at which the proposed 2017 budget was presented for the first time. As we were going through the various line items, first on the income side and then later expenses, we came to the line for Mission Support. “This is the 10 percent that goes to the ELCA.” It was an easy entry to cover because for years my congregation has given 10 percent of our regular member giving to Mission Support.Read more...
Facts and Figures for the Northern Illinois Synod
This is an updated resource reflecting ministry in our synod.
Q: What is Mission Support?
A: Mission Support is your congregation’s financial weekly offering that is shared with your synod and the churchwide organization. It is an undesignated gift to ELCA ministries that go beyond your congregation. These gifts are used where the need is the greatest, and they also make it possible for the ELCA’s 65 synods and the churchwide organization to keep ongoing commitments to ministry partners.
Q: What guides the churchwide organization in its decisions regarding Mission Support?
A: Churchwide Assemblies – this church’s highest legislative authority – guides and directs the work of the churchwide organization. The ELCA Church Council functions as the interim legislative authority between assemblies. The churchwide organization’s two strategic priorities are to accompany the nearly 10,000 congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission and to build the capacity of this church for evangelical witness and service in the world to alleviate poverty and to work for justice and peace. We are a church that believes God is calling us into the world – together.
Q: How does my congregation benefit from Mission Support?
A: Every congregation benefits as an active partner in the ELCA’s mission to share God’s love with the world. Mission Support funds the work of synods, and some of the portion of Mission Support that is shared with the churchwide organization returns back to your congregation and synod in the form of services, programs, resources or grants. Typically, more than 90 percent of a congregation’s offering remains in the congregation to help pay for local ministries, outreach, salaries, utilities and the building, ensuring your congregation’s vital presence in your community. We are a church whose unity is in Jesus Christ, who gathers us around word and water, wine and bread. Together — we can do more than any congregation or synod could do alone.
Make it Simple
is a stewardship resource that has its foundation in 2 Corinthians 9:8 in which Paul says: “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” “Make it Simple” seeks to be a resource in growing stewards by focusing on God’s abundance and how we might live simply, generously, and faithfully in using the blessings that God gives to us.
There are four programmatic themes of “Make it Simple:” Following Jesus, Mt. 6:25-33; Facing the Truth, Mk. 4:37-41; Acting Together, Jn. 13:34-35; and Sharing Enough, Philippians 4:11b-13. These themes along with a variety of resources will help to grow healthy stewards, a sense of generosity, and an understanding of how we live in God’s abundance each day.
“Make it Simple” is a web based resource and is available on the ELCA website by visiting elca.org/makeitsimple. Also available is a DVD set from Augsburg Fortress, order number: ITEM000666.
Why We Share Gifts for Ministry
The primary reason we share our gifts is out of joy and thanksgiving for God’s blessings, especially God’s Son, Jesus Christ and God’s grace through him. This is the foundational reason for our giving as God’s people in mission.
Another reason we share gifts is from a sense of responsibility. We believe that all we have are gifts from God and are called to manage wisely the gifts God has given to us. God’s gifts are given as a blessing to others.
We also give from a sense of mission. Through our giving of gifts, we and our congregation share in God’s mission. Because of the gifts you share, one’s congregation is able to grow in ministry and boldly proclaim the good news of God’s transforming love in Christ.
One’s faith commitment is another reason why we share gifts for ministry. The sharing of gifts for ministry is a concrete expression of the faith we have in God’s promises and abundant grace in Jesus Christ.
Perhaps one or all of the above describe your motivation for sharing gifts. Perhaps you have another reason that is only yours. Whatever your reason, the generous sharing of gifts enable us to live a richer life of discipleship as we give of ourselves and resources as a blessing to those around us each and every day.
Resources you can download or purchase.
- Stories of Faith in Action
- Youth With a Hopeful Future
- Dancing to Make a Difference
- Food Truck Ministry on the Move
- Gently Growing a Congregation
- Preparing Faithful Wise and Courageous Leaders
- A Priceless Gift
- Young Adults Put Faith in Action
- Your Offering at Work
- Your Offering at Work Poster
- Your Offering at Work Poster Black and White
- Mission Support FAQ Sheet
- Bulletin Insert: Dancing in Bethlehem
- Bulletin Insert: Dancing in Bethlehem Black and White
- Bulletin Insert: Followers of Christ
- Bulletin Insert: Followers of Christ Black and White
- Bulletin Insert: In Search of Hospitality
- Bulletin Insert: In Search of Hospitality Black and White
- Bulletin Insert: The Granola Bar Pastor
- Bulletin Insert: The Granola Bar Pastor Black and White
- Bulletin Insert: The Power of Art
- Bulletin Insert: The Power of Art Black and White