Building a healthy congregation means building a healthy understanding of money. And there are few who have a better grasp on this than Episcopal Bishop Greg Rickel (Diocese of Olympia). For years he has moonlighted as a stewardship consultant and become convinced that at the center of God’s heart is generosity.
I first heard Bp. Greg speak years ago at a conference and I still refer to the notes. He shared his wisdom here as a part of an interview I did for TENS (The Episcopal Network for Stewardship), and Greg has done nothing but grow in knowledge and practical experience over the years. I took away a number of tips to help my church, you may also.
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Greg Rickel is on a lifelong quest to be more generous. He carries around rolls of quarters to give away, leaves money on the altar when there’s no offertory, and is always on the lookout for occasions to give. He says he’s transparent and eager to talk about money because Jesus was. I’m sure you’ll pick up more than one tip for this year’s stewardship drive, I did. Here are my notes:
Leaders Must Be Transparent
Clergy who serve under Greg Rickel are asked to model his example of telling the congregation how much the minister makes and how much the minister gives. He says leading by example when it comes to tithes and offerings is one of the best things clergy can do to bring about healthy understandings of money.
Keep the Offering on the Altar
Too many churches have an unspoken understanding of money as ‘dirty’ and whisk it away after the collection. Greg says keep it out in front of people, for money is not bad (it’s neutral) and needs to be lifted up for what it is: the fruits of the people’s hard work offered unto the Lord.
Always Recreate Stewardship Campaigns
Sure, it’s tempting to run the same campaign year after year, but some campaigns reach some people better than others. Don‘t be afraid to offer different ways of communicating the same message from year to year.
Books Greg Recommends
Free of Charge – Miroslav Volf
Tithing – Douglas LeBlanc
Stewardship – Peter Block
Transforming Stewardship - Chuck Robertson
About Greg Rickel
Greg Rickel is the 8th Bishop of Olympia. The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia is geographically made up of the western third of Washington state running from the peaks of the Cascades to the Pacific Ocean and from Canada to Oregon. Greg was ordained/consecrated bishop on September 15, 2007. He’s an insightful writer, check out his blog here.
Sponsors I Mentioned
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The Grow My Church Store- Everything from mugs to pens to fridge magnets, this is a promotional products store aimed at helping churches become closer communities, more hospitable, and welcoming. I started this store and shop there often because I couldn’t find anywhere else to go for these products.