While I was in Liberia I had the opportunity to attend their Annual Conference. No less than three speakers devoted some or all of their presentations to stewardship. I was looking forward to what they had to say. I wanted to learn more about stewardship in a world where extreme poverty is the norm and in my imagination the offering plate would be as likely to include produce and eggs as it would money.
Highlights from the presentations:
- Pastors need to do a better job talking stewardship with their members
- Churches need to expand their visions to invite larger, transformational gifts
- Members are more likely to give if you communicate how giving changes lives.
And Bishop Innis even threw in that churches should be talking to their members about legacy giving.
All of these are the same messages I convey when I speak at Annual Conference.
But there was a difference. No one responded to the speakers saying the economy was bad or this just isn’t a good time to ask for money. Maybe those conversations came in the parking lot afterwards.
It seems the stewardship challenges in our church are universal whether it is in an affluent suburb or a land where the average income is less than $200 per year.