Regular giving, through the Parish Giving Scheme, standing orders or envelopes, is the financial lifeblood of most churches, making up over 50% of the total income of all the churches in the Diocese. But giving in church is about much more than money, it is about a personal, faithful response to the generous love we have been shown by God. So, when we talk about giving in church, we are not simply trying to maximise income, we are giving people a space to open all aspects of their lives, including money, in a generous response to their Christian faith.
Giving and Mission
There are many reasons that people give to church; for some it might be about supporting their faith community, others might want to help look after their historic place of worship, whilst still others might think of it as a devotional commitment. Whatever their personal reason, there are three principles that underscore Christian giving: Christians give in response to their faith; they give because they want to make a difference; and they give because they care. In other words they give out of faith, hope and love. When we understand this we can open up our regular giving conversations beyond “we need to pay the bills” to “we have a mission, help us achieve it.”
Missional giving may be new to you or it may be something you have practiced in your church for years, either way taking a fresh look at how financial giving can support your mission can not only give you new “stewardship” talking points, it can also provide an opportunity to really engage your congregation in your church’s future. For example:
Faith – A regular giving campaign can be a great opportunity to explore giving as a faithful commitment to God (discipleship), or a response to God’s grace (thanksgiving), or an opportunity to resource the growth of the church (evangelism). Ask yourself: what motivates your faith as a church community and what does financial giving mean to how you are able to practice that?
Hope – Parish churches are often the most active sources of community and charity in their local area. Ask yourself: how do you want to be able to bring hope to your congregation and/or your local community? Whatever the answer, it will be unique to your church and therefore a unique way for your congregation to both support, and be a part of, bringing that hope.
Love – a response to faith and a source of hope, regular giving can be an outpouring of love. Ask yourself: how can we help our congregation to express and respond to God’s love? Financial giving won’t be the only answer to this question but it is an important answer. Through financial giving your congregation supports and grows your mission – it is a tangible expression of love for the future of your church. So when we talk about regular giving we are, above all else, asking our congregation to respond to, and in, love.
For further information, contact the Diocesan Generous Giving Adviser, Joshua Townson via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on: 01865 208757.