Inspire! Ask! and Thank! are the foundational elements of any giving program.
Just three tasks. Three vital tasks that will build generosity and support for the mission of the church in your congregation and help us grow stewardship into a regular spiritual practice for those in our community.
What do we mean by each element? How do we do them and what resources are there to help?
Inspire generosity. Inspire giving. Inspire ways of living our faith.
Our generosity is our response to God’s generosity in our own lives. Our generosity is a way to contribute to God’s mission in our world. Our generosity is how we make a positive difference as individuals and families, in our own community through the mission of our parish, through the ministries in our diocese, and as the Anglican Church of Canada within the worldwide Anglican Communion.
We can inspire by sharing the story of the impact of individual and collective generosity and how God’s mission is furthered as a result.
- What is God’s mission for me and for us?
- Why are we here?
- How do we make a difference?
- How do we model compassion, provide community, and offer hope?
- How are we living out the promises of the Baptismal Covenant or the Marks of Mission in our individual and family life? Through the mission of our parish?
We inspire by telling stories, sharing our own “Why I give,” and showing images and pictures of our faith being lived out. Key resources to assist congregational leadership in inspiring others include:
- Ways for people to inspire others by sharing the story of generosity in their lives.
“Why I give” – what would you say?
- Step-by-step instructions for telling the story of God’s mission at work in your community by developing a Narrative Budget.
- Worship and Christian education resources help to deepening our faith journey and encourage us to live faithful and the gifts we have been given – our time, our talent, our treasure.
Asking is an invitation to people in our faith community to join with others as we respond to how we live our faith. We ask and invite all people of our parish to contribute to God’s mission here in our own congregation, in our diocese, and through the ministry of The Anglican Church of Canada.
We ask and invite. We are clear, direct, personal, and as specific as possible. We can begin by reflecting on our own experience of generosity, how it has impacted us, or how we have seen generosity impact others. We can share our own story in a personally meaningful and intentional way. We share “Why I give.”
We then communicate the action that we want people to take – to prayerfully consider how we each will make an appropriate, intentional, and meaningful gift.
We place the request within a prayerful decision-making process and as a response to God’s generosity in our lives.
We make sure that each person feels they have been:
- Asked to join us and others in God’s mission
- Asked to participate
- Asked to make an appropriate and meaningful gift
We have prepared resources for three Asking Every Person options. The range of options is designed to suit almost any ministry situation. They can also be adapted as necessary.
A culture of generosity is built on a foundation of gratitude.
We thank God for the blessings in our lives. God is generous again, again and again. Say thank you again, again, and again – and in many different ways. We thank individuals and groups for all their generous support of the ministry in their community. We cannot thank enough. It has even been found in neurological research to make us happier and healthier people.
When acknowledging the gifts of others, we make sure that our gratitude and thanks are:
- Timely – closely connected to when we receive a gift
- Sincere – communicating what a difference their gift will make
- Personal – face to face; in a handwritten note
Three simple steps, rich in meaning.