We are trying out a new occasional blog series in which people doing ministry can talk about outside the box wild ideas for ministry that they have tried and what they learned from them (whether or not the ideas work). We are calling this new series Acting Outside The Box, because just thinking about what’s outside the box is waaaay too passive. Ken Howard kicks off this series with some counter-intuitively productive stewardship strategies he’s run into (stumbled into, really) over the years.
The Power of Paradox
(part 2 in a series)
In last week’s post I talked about the awkwardness of stewardship season and how the use of religiously-loaded language sometimes backfires. I told the story of a formerly unchurched member family taking out a second mortgage to fulfill their pledge after the husband lost his job in the recession because they took the language of “pledge” so seriously.
Speaking of recessions, two of the largest increases in pledging (or should I say “Estimated Giving”) in two different churches I served took place during two rather large recessions.
What accounts for the difference?
On both occasions, realizing that if we were in their shoes, we would have a lot of hesitation in making financial commitments in uncertain times, we decided that we would talk about the reasons for their potential hesitancy.
We figured, “in for a penny, in for a pound,” as it were. And so we put all of our cards on the table.[Read more…]