1. Develop a budget for your church. Every church should have one! Yet many struggle along without the guidance and direction that a budget offers.
2. Elect a finance committee. This committee develops the budget and presents it to the church in business session for approval. It also deals with every other financial question and makes recommendations to the church board. This frees the church board to deal with developing the church program rather than spending endless hours trying to deal with financial matters.
3. Adopt the Personal Giving Program. The PGP adds stability to the whole church program and negates the necessity of making unending appeals for money. It has also had the effect, in the churches that I've pastored, of raising more money for the church than the old system of taking offerings.
The Need for Education
The secret to good stewardship is education. A realtor will tell you that what makes a house valuable is three things - location, location, location. I suggest that what makes a stewardship program effective is three things - educate, educate, educate. What people are not up on they are down on. This means being open and honest with the church, no secrets about how funds are spent. The times and the professional level of members today demands, rightly so, accountability. A lack of it only creates an insurmountable credibility gap and is counter productive.
Richard Coston was the Stewardship Director of the New York Conference at the time this article was submitted.