Stewardship & Administration

Before coming into ministry, my professional work was in nonprofit budgeting, management, and evaluation.  While there are important differences between that work and what I do know, my time at nonprofits taught me the importance of having clear systems for finance and administration.

One of the hardest and most important conversations at congregations is around money.  While we often do not talk directly about it, saving it for one Sunday’s “Sermon on the Amount” to kick off a yearly stewardship campaign, congregational finances determine much of what we can do inside and outside our walls.  It serves us to talk frankly about what that looks like.

I am comfortable with these conversations.  In my professional and congregational life, I have applied for and evaluated grants, hosted fundraising drives, and seen the consequences of not taking finances seriously.   I believe every congregation, regardless of their financial position, should be transparent and engaged with stewardship at every level.

At the same time, there is no area of congregational life where cultivating lay leadership is more important than stewardship.  A minister could be the finest fundraiser and stewardship cheerleader in the association, but without congregational engagement and ownership of the stewardship process, any positive movement is not sustainable.

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