"excel in this grace of giving" (2 Cor. 8:7)

More than spare change

For most churches congregational giving and the Gift Aid which follows it forms the largest source of income, around 63% for Anglican parishes, more for the free churches. It is stable, resilient income but changes in society, shifting patterns of church attendance and the challenge of personal discipleship mean we cannot presume on these gifts, must nurture our planned givers and encourage younger members to planned giving.
Chapter two of Beyond the Collection Plate suggests that good stewardship practice must privilege planned giving and nurture planned givers. Practically this includes a move away from loose cash gifts on the offering plate and indeed weekly envelopes towards standing orders and Direct Debits. Spiritually it means saying thank you, an annual challenge to review giving, encouragement to new members to start giving in a thoughtful, planned manner, a ministry of preaching and more. In short we need to address the Giving for Life challenge and to see planned giving as an aspect of our personal discipleship.