Dear “Virtual” Southminster Members,
It is a tradition at Southminster for the pastors to not talk about stewardship. I have heard many accounts as to why that is but I have always hesitated to respond. It seems to me that the stewardship of our time, talent, and resources is a critical topic for those who live by faith and must always be addressed by the Pastor and leaders in the church. Now, I totally agree with our practice that no one knows how much people give (not even me) except the keeper of the pledges.
So as we bring our stewardship “All In” campaign to a close this Sunday, November 22, I want to share a few final observations about generosity and stewardship. I have been inspired as I am sure you have with the countless examples of people being creative and offering their generosity even in these times. We have seen stories of famous athletes offering to pay the hourly wages of sports venues that are being impacted by sports cancellations. And we have heard of the big companies that say they are going to continue to pay employees despite losing revenue.
But what about churches? Many churches like Southminster operate on a very thin margin. Most churches are still heavily dependent on gifts that are made in an offering plate when people are physically in church. According to the National Study of Congregations’ Economic Practices, 78% of gifts are given during a worship service. Churches living on thin margins are not going to be able to operate if they lose 78% of their revenue during this crisis. So, what can we do at Southminster to maintain giving revenue when we are not physically meeting together? Here are some of my thoughts:
- We can keep being the best church we can and respond to the ever growing needs and changes of our time….DOING IT
- We can use all the tools available to us (email, texting, social media, phone calls, etc.) to maintain connection with members of the community….DOING IT
- We can model justice in employment and continue to pay staff and honor contracts and plan to recruit a full staff in 2021….DOING IT
- We can continue to empower most committees and groups to meet in order to increase cohesion and foster a sense of vision and purpose….DOING IT
- We can continue to worship together on Zoom and offer alternatives for those who simply want to read the sermon or participate in their own way….DOING IT
- We can provide many online and other ways to maintain giving….DOING IT!
Southminster has continued to be the CHURCH even in these times. WE ARE DOING IT! This Sunday, Robin Burnham will share a testimony, we will see an inspiring video from the Detroit youth choir and discuss what it means to “Live by Faith”. I hope you can join us. So far, our stewardship campaign 2021 is yielding excellent results. We are over ⅔ of the way there! WE CAN CONTINUE TO DO THIS!
If you haven’t submitted your pledge for 2021, please consider doing so. It is in times like these that the church shows its real strength as a community of faith!