We all know that stewardship is not something that should be practiced once a year on “Stewardship Sunday” and we all know that Stewardship is about much more than a financial commitment to the congregation or a congregation’s statement of intent to the wider church.

But who has time to sit down and plan a year long every month, every aspect of stewardship emphasis?

Our friends at Churchwide have made created a tool that 1) takes the work out of planning a year-long stewardship emphasis but at the same time 2) leaves room for the contextualization and taking advantage of the local resources.

The ELCA has produced a large colorful chart that gives a simple, adaptable, doable idea for each month of the year for each of these characteristics of Stewardship:

  • A monthly overall theme/focus
  • Earthkeeping
  • Growth
  • Giftedness
  • Finances
  • Lifestyle
  • Planning

This resource could be easily used for planning a year of congregational actives, to guide a church council or stewardship committee.  If you like committees, 7 groups could be formed to each address a stewardship characteristic each month.

I think that it is inevitable that if a congregation were to follow the suggestions on this chart at the end of a year that congregation would have grown in spiritual depth, grown in their understanding of discipleship and stewardship, and grown in financial resources.  I would be surprised if they did not grow in members too.

This resource is available to your congregation for $6.00 at

Year-Round Planning Calendar

And now a joke…It was Super Bowl Sunday and in the local Presbyterian church, the time for the collection of tithes and offerings was approaching. The minister, a true sports enthusiast, reached into his pocket, took out a quarter, flipped it into the air, glanced at it as it landed, then in typical referee fashion joyfully announced: “The ushers have elected to receive!”

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.