When we ask people to take a step-up and grow in their financial commitment to the ministries of Christ’s church, there is no doubt a variety of possible responses. “Since you asked, I’ll give.” Or, “I hear you asking, this is what I can do this year.” One thing is certain, we don’t know what will happen if we don’t ask.
The annual fall program preparation begins now. Fall is a great time to ask. Ask. That is what the annual response program is all about. It is a time set aside to make the case for Christ’s mission through your congregation and ask people to support it. It’s that simple.
We send a message in not asking. Other worthy agencies will come out in force with the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday season. In not asking, we may be sending a subtle message that what we are doing in the name of Christ through the congregation is less important.
Choose a fall program now. Share it with your leadership. Two of my favorites are: The Courier Program—perfected by Pastor Stephen Dean Samuelson; and The New Consecration Sunday Program. Next in line would be “The Grow One Sunday Program.”
The concept is so simple, yet too many of us are just afraid to ask. There is still a great deal of fear and anxiety for people when it comes to money and asking. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen; someone might say “no.” Then again, a whole lot of people will be saying “yes.” Make no mistake, one part of stewardship has to do with money. Someone will be asking when fall rolls around. If we truly believe in what we are doing for the cause of Christ, then we too need to ask.
One of our ELCA pastors has written a simple little book—available through Augsburg-Fortress—Ask, Thank, Tell, by Charles “Chick” Lane. Lane encourages us to ask; and to do it out of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ in response to God’s grace. In other words, it’s part of the discipleship journey.
Fall is coming. Fall is a great time to ask. Now is a great time to be planting.
“When I consider the needs of the poor compared to my own relative affluence, the question becomes not ‘What do I need to give?’ but ‘What do I have a right to keep?’”—John Westerhoff, Anglican priest, late 20th century
Submitted by, Pastor Grant Quever—synod stewardship team