I was visiting with Rev. Shandy Schaller who is currently serving a small, suburban congregation. While their setting isn’t rural, they face similar struggles due to their size, especially financial struggles. In an attempt to get their apportionments paid, Sandy developed the bulletin board pictured above. Members and guests are able to see and learn about all the ministries we support financially together as a denomination.
Sandy shared with me that this has resulted in a growing excitement and curiosity for these ministries and the congregation. A preschool is housed in their building and those who walk by the board have said things like, “I didn’t know this church did all of this!” Additionally, members have become intellectually and emotionally connected to the ministries they have been supporting financially. The Holy Spirit has used this to stir up desire and excitement to connect personally in mission. Now they are starting a “new place for new faces”!
It has gotten difficult for the world to recognize the difference Christ makes in our lives. There are so many secular and Christian agencies doing similar work of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and providing disaster relief. While financial support is essential, relational connection in ministry allows the Gospel to be proclaimed through our acts of service.
Matthew 6:1 & 3 read, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven…But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.” Motives matter. This board wasn’t created to receive accolades, but to inform and raise needed funds. In doing so participation in the ministry of apportionments has become personal and has sparked a desire for local, relational ministries where the Gospel can be proclaimed.
What is your congregation supporting financially (through apportionments or otherwise)? How might you build personal connections with these ministries to help your congregation share the Gospel as well as their finances?