What does it look like to be a faithful steward congregation, and how can we encourage and measure growth in our stewardship as a community of faith?
The United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina has come up with a way to assess and recognize great stewarding behaviors. This year, they launched the Faithful Steward Award to recognize outstanding local churches that demonstrate excellence in their ministry of faithful stewardship and to inspire all churches to participate in stewardship growth.
The award application lists specific congregational behaviors in five categories: connectional stewardship and personal stewardship, church finances and budgeting, church stewardship support, awareness and education. It includes options such as an event or initiative to advocate for the poor; a youth or children’s stewardship event or study; two environmental initiatives annually; ongoing stewardship emphases throughout the year; and a small-group stewardship study.
For those whose heart quickens when there’s a bit of competition, the award gives a total of 260 achievable points. Those with the highest number of points in their district will be recognized in the districts, and churches with 175 points or more will receive a certificate at annual conference session.
To see the award application, contact Lauralee Bailey, Senior VP of Communications, at 1-888-450-1956, extension 1503.
Questions for Discussion
* How would a Faithful Steward Award encourage your congregation’s stewardship ministry?
* How can you help shape and share faithful steward behaviors among the churches in your area?
Written 12/6/2010 for the General Board of Discipleship
of the United Methodist Church