Emphasize Stewardship and Discipleship Year-Roundox
When Jesus reminds us that the most important commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, Jesus probably wasn’t thinking this directive was only worth emphasizing one time per year. Instead, when Jesus says all, most likely he meant it was applicable all times of the year and includes all of who we are. Following Jesus is about total engagement 24/7/365.
Of course, this is more easily aspired to than lived out, which is why we need to keep teaching, inspiring, and challenging people to imitate Jesus throughout the year. Our roadblocks to this kind of living are less about deficits in head knowledge and more about our daily choices and behavior.
It doesn’t seem fitting then to have a one-time per year thrust to get people to give money to our congregations. What makes more sense is to talk continually to people about the difference they make as stewards, both through their congregation and through the ministry of their daily lives. A year-round stewardship emphasis finds a variety of ways to encourage people to live and lead with generosity and compassion in everything they do.
Even if year-round stewardship emphasis is not immediately achievable, keep it as a goal and look for ways to move in that direction.