Retired Pastor Wallace Hunstad
said, "The blueprint for a good stewardship emphasis in any
congregation is to be found in the ambitious, resourceful,
cooperative, willingness on the part of members of its
Stewardship Board. At Grace Lutheran Church, the chemistry
was there in abundance."
can we do to motivate members about their response
was the question that the Stewardship Board at
Grace Lutheran Church, Eau Claire pondered at the
beginning of the year.
Working with Senior Pastor Rolf Nestingen, the Board decided
that the key to receiving a better return is to be found in
a better proclamation of God's abundant blessings. And with
that focus, the stewardship thrust Showers of
BIessings was born.
A large, clear glass "blessing bowl" appeared in the
sanctuary, and parishioners were asked to jot down blessing
experiences and drop them in. With a bursting bowl of
hundreds of blessings, parishioners were then asked to draw
one out as they left the worship service.
A parish newspaper article followed up the blessing bowl
idea by reminding readers, God is able to provide you
blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of
everything you may share abundantly in every good work.
- II Corinthians 9:8.
From Ezekiel 34:26, the theme, "Showers of Blessings"
came: I will send down the showers in their season; they
shall be showers of blessing! Congregation members began
watching for the weekly "showers of blessings" message in
the bulletin. Even a hymn, "There Shall Be Showers of
Blessing" by James McGranahan was sung,
"It became an easy matter for us to begin counting our
blessings! " exclaimed Pastor Hunstad.
Realizing that repetition makes for enthusiasm, and
enthusiasm brings commitment, the Stewardship Board
presented a litany based on Psalm 103 and Ezekiel 34 to be
read each Sunday during worship.
Temple Talks focused on the 90-year history of the
congregation, the variety of blessings that people were now
carrying in their billfolds, and a recognition of talents
found within the congregation.
Culmination to the project came on Stewardship Sunday, when
those entering the sanctuary witnessed 15 white fluffy
clouds appearing with 40 over-sized raindrops suspended from
the clouds. Each raindrop suggested a blessing.
Out of gratitude for the blessings God has showered upon the
congregation, each member came forth to the Blessing Bowl,
this time with their Faith Promise Card indicating their
financial commitment for the year.
The final blueprint for a stewardship emphasis had pressed
its image upon the Grace Lutheran Congregation.
Following the arrow link below to
find documents provided to show you the whole stewardship
program, including some samples of publications, the
blessing slips, bulletin announcements and inserts as well
as a description of the dramatic sanctuary transformation
Begin the stewardship tour here.