Feeling like this?! cottonbro@pexels
I dread the thought of moving. That’s why I’m staying put right where I am.
Even though we aren't moving, last Friday, my spouse and I worked - for the first time in 20 years - for two whole hours (what dedication) in our basement sorting and letting things go to Goodwill or the trash. We can now see 1/18th of our basement floor. Thus, I feel your pain if you are moving.
Speaking of that, as most Methodists are aware (in the UMC way), clergy are often appointed to a new congregation in the summer. June is the month when the Great Move™ usually takes place in order for the pastor to be ready to rock and roll in their new pulpit in July.
To those of you who are making the Great Move™, Godspeed. I’m trusting that (unlike me) you’ve been Marie Kondo-ing your space on a regular basis. If not, Lord have mercy.
Let’s pretend that you’ve arrived. You’ve made it! You’re at your new congregation. OMG, there’s so much to do.
The good thing about being the new kid on the block is that you have the ability to ask questions.
Really basic questions.
Maybe even some dumb questions. Truly, this a unique opportunity.
A few of those questions ought to do with stewardship.
Here are some stewardship questions to check off your list when you arrive.
_____ How do you do the offering during worship?
_____ Does anyone tell a story about where the offering is going?
_____ How often does the congregation expect to hear a sermon about generosity?
_____ Do you have a specific stewardship month when pledges are accepted? Who’s in charge of that?
_____ How are people in the congregation thanked?
_____ Who are the top 10 givers in the congregation? (Start meeting with them to find out why they give. If you’re squeamish about knowing who your top givers are, please read Should You Know Who Gives What?)
_____ Who are the top 10 volunteers in the congregation? (Start meeting with them to find out why they volunteer.)
_____ Is the congregation’s budget being propped up by one or two major givers? What will you do with this knowledge?
This is not an exhaustive list. These are to get you thinking about what you should know about stewardship in your new congregation. Heck, even if you’re not new, some of these are valuable questions to ask.
Moving is hard. Let’s acknowledge that right now. You need prayer not only to ask the right questions but to find a sense of peace, knowing that you are in a place you can call home.
The old Methodist Youth Fellowship prayer I said each and every week arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand with my friends seems right. It’s my prayer for you (with special thanks to Numbers 6:24-26):
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
God bless you. Happy questioning.