If you’ve been nominated to lead the Parish Giving Scheme for your church…congratulations! If you’ve landed on this page needing some guidance on how to launch, then this is the article for you!*
*If your church hasn’t yet registered but you want to support via Direct Debit, we recommended you contact your Diocese for more information on how to join.
Launching a new way to give is a great opportunity to help others reflect on why, how and what we generously contribute to the work of the church. If it’s been a while since you talked about Christian giving and connecting finances with faith, we’ve collated here a list of project resources to help you to:
- communicate God’s generosity;
- encourage people to think about how they’ve been blessed and could bless others through generosity; and
- help our churches to become generous.
It is recommended that a season of generosity is planned, and the subject of giving of money for Christian work be included. First start with the Sermon Material and blogs. These provide a wealth of material to preach and teach in the context of discipleship and generosity. The articles can also be adapted for use in parish magazines, pew sheets and also shared through social media.
Introduce Welcome Cards, these will help visitors to feel welcome and informed about what to expect. The cards can be used to explain how the church is funded and how the church uses the offertory. See ‘Let’s be clear’ for an explanation on how best to use the cards. Templates are available to download here and can be edited for your church.
Use prayer tokens. These simple tokens enable us to make the most of the offertory during the service, enabling all to participate and encourage us to think about how we have been blessed through God’s generosity. A full implementation guide is explained in the blog ‘Simple Step to Symbols of Generosity‘. Templates are available to download here. Prayer Token Templates
Does your church model generosity? Consider using the self-assessment ‘Generosity Audit’ to reflect on the generosity of your church and how it demonstrates generosity to others. Also check out ‘Marks of a Generous Church’, for further suggestions.
As we need to seek God’s guidance before we make any significant decision affecting our finances and church, invite members to review their giving and switch to the Parish Giving Scheme with time for reflection and prayer. You can ask for members to return forms direct to the Parish Giving Scheme or return them to the designated person by a certain date.
Don’t forget to explain the vision of the church and what a difference financial contributions make not only to the church, but to the local community, as well as our capacity to be a blessing to others. Examples of how to communicate effectively are available from your Diocesan Advisor.
Other things to consider are:
- Provide opportunities for people to ask questions.
- Hold a thanksgiving service in celebration of what your generosity achieves, be this local or international. Why not host a thanksgiving meal and invite the community.
- Explain the vision and what can be achieved through giving. Remember it’s not just about the impact in the church, but the impact in the local community.
- Provide a permanent display on how the work of the church is funded through the Parish Giving Scheme and share good news stories about the impact that has been made by generosity.
For further support with any aspect of generous giving, please contact the Diocesan Resources Team.
A prayer of thanks:
Loving Father you have made us your people, richly provided us with good gifts and called us to live for you; may gratitude be in our hearts; may generosity be in our hands; may justice and righteousness guide our feet and may the life of your kingdom and the joy of heaven be found among us. Amen
Based on Isaiah 5:1-8