This month in stewardship: February
January 17, 2020 by Robyn Davis Sekula
Ah, February. I’ve always loved it. Even though it’s winter, it’s short, and you get chocolate – and half-priced chocolate if you wait until February 15!
If you’d like to have a little fun with your church’s stewardship, February can be a great time to ask people to express why they love their church.
What is it that brings them back each week to this particular congregation? When have they felt the loving hand of Christ through their church?
Holding a February love-fest is a great opportunity to remind people what’s great about your church – and to have a positive effect on stewardship – without asking for a dime. This is critically important. Continually asking for money gets old, fast; sometimes you just need to remind people why they are there, with hopes that this goodwill extends into generously supporting the church in all ways.
Here’s how you might accomplish this.
Put small sheets of paper (index card sized, perhaps) in shades of pink and white (red is too hard to read!) at the end of each pew in a small basket along with some pens or pencils. Announce from the pulpit as your minute for mission that the basket should be passed down the row for anyone who would like to do so to share a few thoughts about why they love their church – and add their name if they’d like. Ask them to place those notes back in the baskets, and collect them after the service. You could clothes pin them to string in your fellowship hall, pin to billboards, snap photos of them for social media or display in other ways. If you have several that are particularly meaningful, you can ask permission to share them from the pulpit on the following Sundays – or better yet, ask the writer to share them. If you do this on the first Sunday in February – February 2 – you’ll have three more Sundays in February to share the love notes.
Social media shares
Some congregations are particularly social media savvy, and might find it fun to take this task digital. Ask members of your congregation to share in social media why they love their church, with a selfie of them at church, or a photo of them with their pastor or family at church. It can be just a few words. Ask them to tag the church in social media when they post. Share those onto the church social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – whatever you’ve got). Develop a hashtag that you can use that’s easy to remember and search. The members of your congregation will need to make their posts public so everyone, including the church social media administrator, can see those.
What I particularly love about this approach is that it takes this outside of the church walls for all to see!
Minutes for mission
This would be the easiest to accomplish. Find four members of your congregation who love their church to simply share from the pulpit why. That’s it. One on each Sunday in February. But keep in mind that things that only take place in the sanctuary on Sunday morning aren’t going to be experienced beyond your church walls – which is why I recommend using social media, your church newsletter, etc., to share that love beyond the pews on Sunday.
Yes, Valentine’s Day is associated with romantic love. But it can be much more than that. Keep in mind, too, those in your congregations who may feel lonely this month. Slipping a card in the mail to them is a great way to love them back. Consider having the children in your congregation make cards for them and send them. Who wouldn’t want to receive a Valentine’s card from a child in their congregation?
Happy Valentine’s Day, and remember, it’s good stewardship to buy the chocolate half-off.
Robyn Davis Sekula is vice president of communications and marketing at the Presbyterian Foundation. She is a ruling elder and member of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky.