The Best Christmas Gift You Can Give Your Congregation
Christmas is right around the corner! Now here is the reality behind this statement…so is January, which can bring inflated credit card bills because of uncontrolled Christmas spending.
Over-spending at Christmas often causes stress that lasts long after the excitement of the holiday season. It can take months to ‘catch up’ on credit card bills. Some even resort to cutting their giving to the church so they can pay for their holiday spending.
What can we do to break this cycle? Consider using the weeks leading to Christmas to teach your congregation NOT to get caught up in a spending frenzy. You can help people get off to a much better New Year if you take the time to talk about it now. For maximum impact, talk about this topic each week leading up to Christmas.
Here are a few things to help your congregation have a great Christmas AND a great January:
· Stay in control by paying with cash or debit card only
· Let friends and family know about your plan to spend less this Christmas (many will even encourage you!)
· Make a short list of who you will give gifts to and budget a modest dollar amount for each gift
· Pool your resources with relatives and give shared gifts
· Don't over indulge anyone, including your children, spouse, etc.
· Give gifts of service or inexpensive homemade gifts
· Adopt a needy family to help (this takes the focus off receiving gifts)
· Slow down and enjoy the season with your loved ones; make holiday decorations together, go see the lights, go caroling, etc.
· Along with family, serve at a shelter, nursing home, hospital, etc.
Challenge your congregation to be proactive in controlling their Christmas spending. Perhaps ask them to complete a card that states their commitment to making it work this year. Here's some sample wording:
I am committed to enjoying Christmas without causing stress in the New Year. I commit to the following from now until New Year's Day:
- - I will use only cash or debit cards to buy Christmas gifts.
- - I will set a reasonable limit on how much I will spend on Christmas.
- - I will help someone in need this Christmas.
Understanding the true ownership of all we have is a deeply spiritual principle. Healthy spiritual growth includes a proper understanding of the Lordship issue of finances. Many people in your congregation will benefit greatly from this message brought by their Pastor, who loves and cares for their well-being in every area of their life. This is rubber meets the road stuff and can have a profound effect on many lives.
My name is Phil Drost and it has been my privilege to serve hundreds of the most effective churches across the country. I would be honored to partner with you on your next capital campaign or generosity initiative.