Encouraging Generous Giving
Why do we give?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son Jesus Christ” (John 3:16a)
The Christian understanding of giving is distinctive, and is a central part of our discipleship: it is giving back to God from what he has given us, which is everything! Giving starts with God in creation, and generosity is at the heart of God’s character: “Jesus giving his life for us is the ultimate demonstration of God’s generosity and grace.” (Rowan Williams).
We are called to give and to live generously. This will both resource God’s mission and change our lifestyle. Scripture tells us that our giving should be:
- A priority (Deut 26:2-3, 1 Cor 16:2, 2 Cor 8:5)
- Prayerful (1 Chron 29:10-14)
- Planned but not prescriptive, allowing spontaneity (2 Cor 9:7)
- Proportionate and realistic (1 Cor 16:2, 2 Cor 8:11-13)
- Given in community (Acts 2:42-47, 2 Cor 8:13-14)
- Sacrificial (Luke 21: 1-4, 2 Cor 9:7-8)
- Cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7-8)
It is important to celebrate the giving that already takes place in the Diocese:
- Hundreds of thousands of hours of time are given in volunteering within our churches and in the local community;
- Planned giving in the Diocese averages just over 3% of after-tax income which is the same as the national average;
- About 2/3 of giving is gift-aided;
- Our parishes give almost £1m to other charities each year.
Think about how much more of God’s work could be achieved if we made further progress towards the target of giving 5% of our after-tax income!
Support and Resources for Parishes
Katie Stevenson, Mission Resources Adviser, is available to support parishes with stewardship and generous giving. If you would be interested in exploring any of the following in your Parish, please email Katie, or telephone on 01392 294 960.
PCC/Mission Community Stewardship Planning Session
This session is often a great place to start, offering a productive and creative opportunity to review the current state of play with regard to stewardship and the management of resources. Church officers are encouraged to discuss possible strategies to promote sacrificial giving within their communities. This reflective session gives scope to plan ahead and access ongoing support.
What Does Sacrificial Giving Look Like?
A prayerful workshop usually delivered on a Saturday morning, this encourages participants to review their own approach to generous giving. It includes ‘a journey through the Bible’, group activities and inspirational clips. The workshop has a retreat feel and is intended to be contemplative in nature.
Six Steps of Christian Giving
A one-hour workshop which focuses on our call to discipleship and the responsibility to give sacrificially in all areas of our lives. Includes activities, clips and a prayer aid to take home.
Address during a Service
Katie has experience of preaching in a wide variety of churches. Using the lectionary reading as a starting point, she is available to come and talk to the congregation about sacrificial giving. We would recommend booking a Six Steps of Christian Giving workshop to follow the service.
Co-ordinated Rollout of the Parish Giving Scheme
The Parish Giving Scheme offers a 21st century solution to offset one of the greatest threats to parish income: that of static giving. If the Scheme becomes the main means by which people give regularly to your Church, you will have inflation-proofed your giving, maximised your cash flow and minimised your administration, freeing you up to focus on other important priorities. For full details of the Parish Giving Scheme and how to join, please click here.
Katie is available to help parishes create a bespoke rollout plan for the Parish Giving Scheme. She is available to give introductory presentations to PCCs that are considering joining, and can also deliver presentations to the congregation as part of the launch of the Scheme in the Parish.
The Responsibility is Ours (TRIO)
The TRIO stewardship programme has been specifically designed for parishes that are struggling to match income to expenditure. It encourages the whole church family – and, where appropriate, the wider community – to engage with the financial challenges facing the church and to take shared responsibility for setting it on a firm financial footing for the future. Katie is available to give introductory presentations to PCCs, and will then provide ongoing support throughout the TRIO process.
For an overview of the TRIO model, please see What is TRIO?
Katie can offer support to help PCCs to create a Legacy Policy, and can provide information packs to be placed in the church.
The National Church of England legacy website offers excellent information for both PCCs and individuals.
Common Fund: What’s the Point?
An informative session that explains how the Common Fund is calculated and how the funds are used. This presentation puts giving into a wider context and encourages the audience to appreciate benefits that extend beyond the mission and ministry in their localised context.
For more information on the Common Fund, please click here.
Giving for Life: Continuing the Journey
This new PCC-led discipleship programme prompts a review of stewardship strategy. Watch this space for further details!