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The Vital Connection: Growing tithers in the church

By: Sheri Meister, executive director; Kelsey Morgan, office assistant, Dakotas UM Foundation; Jeff Pospisil, executive director, Finance and Admin.; Rev. Rebecca Trefz, executive director, Ministries, Dakotas Conference UMC,; Adam Ragels, Audio Editor

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Tithing is often overwhelming and difficult for people to understand and do. Pastor Ron Johnson, who serves at Yankton First UMC and Gayville/Volin UMC, has been dedicated to growing tithers through the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program for over 20 years. Johnson sat down with Jeff Pospisil, director of finance and administration, to talk about what it means to raise tithers in the church.

Johnson_Ron

Rev. Ron Johnson. Dakota Conference file photo.

For the last 20 years, Pastor Ron Johnson has been doing New Consecration Sundays. New Consecration Sunday focuses on the givers need to give, not the church’s need to receive. This stewardship program helps people grow in their giving by starting where they currently are and taking small steps. Going from giving nothing to giving ten percent is overwhelming, but going from zero to one percent, and growing from there makes things easier. 

Tweet this: “The key piece for me is to give to God for the work of the church out of gratitude for His grace.” – Pastor Ron Johnson

Tithing, or giving any amount, is not about meeting budget needs, it is about creating disciples through stewardship. Stewardship encompasses more than just giving of money, it is giving of one’s times, talents, and ultimately life in service to Christ.

Tweet this: “Stewardship is what I do with my life after I say I believe in Jesus Christ.” – Pastor Ron Johnson

Through this stewardship program, Pastor Ron has seen churches increase their annual giving from anywhere between two-to-twenty percent. People get excited about what is happening in the church and often increase their service in addition to their increase in giving.

If you are interested in New Consecration Sunday, Johnson encourages you to follow the program faithfully, but to personalize it for your church. People connect and understand things better when others share their personal stories of how it worked for them. Follow up with people throughout the year and let them know what is being accomplished across church ministries because of their increased giving. “God never expects us to give any more than we already have. It is amazing how God will bless you in this,” says Pastor Ron.

Resources:

New Consecration Stewardship Program by Herb Miller

Leader Guide here

Contact Sheri Meister at the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation or Jeff Pospisil in the Dakotas Conference Finance Office for more information on how to address finances in your church(es).

UMC

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