Stewardship Sunday

Stewardship Sunday is celebrated each year on the second Sunday in November.

Scripture Passages

  • Matthew 25:14-30
  • 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
  • 1 Timothy 6:17-19
  • Mark 10:17-27
  • Luke 12:13-34
  • 1 Timothy 6:11-19
  • Luke 6:37-41
  • Luke 19:1-10

Songs

  • Here I Am, Lord (Sing! A New Creation #286)
  • We Are An Offering (Sing! A New Creation #230)
  • I Offer My Life (Sing! A New Creation #218)
  • We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise (Sing! A New Creation #12)

Litanies and Prayers

  • "A Living Sacrifice" litany (Sing! A New Creation #231)
  • "Prayer at the Presentation of the Offering" (Sing! A New Creation #217)

Offering Ideas

  • If your congregation uses commitment cards, invite members to return the commitment cards for the next year's giving as the offering is collected.
  • Do a reverse offering instead of taking a collection. Prepare enough envelopes for each person in the congregation, and include a few dollars in each envelope. When it's time for the offering, pass the offering plates and allow each person to draw an envelope. Encourage them to use the money they have received to further God's kingdom in some way. The following week, ask what people did with their money.
  • A week ahead of time, invite members to bring an offering on Stewardship Sunday that really reflects their gifts. Someone with a green thumb can bring flowers to brighten the sanctuary. A local baker could provide bread for communion or snacks for after the service. A musician could offer special music during worship. Remind that congregation that stewardship of our gifts and talents is just as important as financial stewardship.

Other Worship Ideas

  • Start a campaign to bless your community. Encourage each person in your church to think creatively about how they can make people's lives easier and share the love of God in tangible ways. Invite them to share how they've blessed others and been blessed at future services. Some examples include mowing, raking leaves, or shoveling snow for a neighbor, stopping to help change a tire, or covering the bill for someone else at a restaurant or drive-through. People can get very creative with this.
  • Pray for the work of the deacons and finance committee.
  • Incorporate an emphasis on spiritual gifts, and ask members how they will use their gifts in God's service.

After-Church Ideas

  • Need to raise funds for a particular ministry in your church? Hold a service auction. Encourage members to donate goods or services according to their talents--anything from a knitted scarf or handmade bookshelf to helping someone prepare their taxes. Encourage people of all ages to participate.
  • Organize an afternoon volunteer activity and invite the church to celebrate stewardship of their time.
  • Hold a ministry fair to celebrate how the church uses its funds and the gifts of its members. Encourage new members to find a ministry they want to get involved in.

Resources

  • Creating Congregations of Generous People, by Michael Durall. Alban Institute. In this book, Durall emphasizes that annual pledge drives inadvertently perpetuate low-level and same-level giving in congregations. Durall helps your church initiate and sustain effective stewardship programs.
  • Faith Inkubators Seasonals: Stewardship. Faith Inkubators (www.faithink.com). This theme set contains an intergenerational experience and provides an opportunity for all ages to grow as good stewards of their time, talents, and treasures. This resource is a tool to introduce a holistic approach to stewardship in the congregation. The theme set includes four to six weeks of materials for learning and worship with a home connection.
  • Firstfruits: A Stewardship Guide for Church Leaders (Second Edition), by Robert C. Heerspink. Barnabas Foundation and Faith Alive Christian Resources. In order to develop a better understanding of stewardship within the church, use this book as a "how to" manual with your church leadership groups.
  • Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation, an annual stewardship magazine from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, includes an annual stewardship emphasis for churches as well as articles and resources related to the topic. To order, visit www.stewardshipresources.org.

Articles

  • "The Joy of Generosity: Service Plans for a Three-Week Series on Stewardship" by Robert Heerspink; originally published in issue 59 of Reformed Worship.

Do you have further suggestions or an example of how Stewardship Sunday is observed in your church?Please let us know!