Do your eyes glaze over every time someone mentions church accounts? Do you feel uneasy at the mention of money? Is giving only ever talked about in your church when there’s a fundraising appeal? Well this is certainly the feeling at St. Someone’s, but in Chapter 7 they have a breakthrough, and if these descriptions ring true in your PCC then your church’s approach to the topic of “giving” could be completely turned on its head too.
Let’s bring the feel-good factor into giving. Let’s celebrate Jesus-like generosity in our pews.
“Our Generosity In Numbers” is a tool for bringing together all that’s great about your church. All the people who generously give in different but vitally important ways, can find their contributions stacked up on a list that celebrates all that they share. From hours spent sitting with lonely parishioners in their homes, to money given to charity, to all the cakes baked and sandwiches assembled, all that we give as a church is celebrated in this list.
These figures are, of course, made up, but it’s really easy to do yourself. Gather your PCC together (and a calculator) and spend some time listing all the ways people contribute generously. Calculating how many hours spent on something (like maintaining the grounds or assisting with Messy Church) can be worked out by how many people do it, multiplied by how many hours each week, multiplied by the number of weeks a year it’s done.
As for the other figures, your Wardens or incumbent will have records of the number of baptisms conducted, and the treasurer will be able to provide you with the financial figures.
Then it’s up to the rest of your PCC to think creatively and gather in one place the many ways people contribute to the daily ministry and mission of your church. You can use this template to inspire ideas, and you’ll probably find you have more things to list than you have space on the paper! (By the way, it’s WELL worth getting this printed and laminated on at least A3 paper if you’re putting it up in church. Good to print in your parish mag and send out as a newsletter with you annual thank you letter.)
Taking the time to do this as a PCC is so encouraging and a real blessing to see all that we do to serve God.
Because that’s the point really isn’t it? We give generously because of God.
We give generously because first God gave to us. We give generously because of Jesus’ lived example. And we give generously because without our contributions of time, money and skills, we wouldn’t be able to share the Gospel and see God’s kingdom come. Proclaiming the Good News to the poor, bringing sight to the blind and setting the oppressed free, takes ordinary people like you and me to generously share our resources.
This list helps us to see that, and rejoice in it.
Plus, you can use this list as regular content for intercessions. Each week you could give thanks for something different on the list.
This “Our Generosity in Numbers” list not only reminds people that their generosity is blessed, but it also informs the whole church of what’s going on and where the needs of the church and wider community lie. It’s like a billboard for missional and ministerial activity.
But most importantly, it really could help your church to think differently about giving. Putting the feel-good factor into giving and celebrating Jesus-like generosity in our pews.
It’s easy. Give it a go.