Participate: Ask Your People to Give
It is no secret that it is difficult to ask people to give more of their time and their treasure. Prepare a step-by-step method through homilies, bulletin articles, and parish website information to teach people to be intentional, planned, and proportionate in their parish giving. Every family and household already goes through this process when deciding to buy a car or cell phone plan. Invite them to do the same for the parish.
God gives us this divine-human workshop, this world and Church of ours (USCCB, To Be a Christian Steward, 2013). First, a person must develop a disciplined intention to give. This can only truly come from the Holy Spirit. Invite people to pray for the gift of a generous heart.
The time never seems right to do something difficult. Have a focused time for initiating and renewing a stewardship commitment. Ask these questions: Are you making a true sacrifice? Can you give more? If no, can you be more active in prayer or more generous with your time?
What if you received a letter today saying you were about to come into a large inheritance? Surely excitement would overtake you, and one of your first thoughts would be, “How much? ” As believers, we know how much our true Inheritance is – Life itself and Eternal Life in the future. These words can seem hollow and meaningless, however, if our faith is weak.
The call to give away all our possessions, dedicate our lives to God, and forsake all for the Kingdom is a specific vocation to which not all of us are called. Most of us, as lay people, are asked only to give away the first fruits of our labors; that is, only a small portion of what we have. Therefore, ask people to make a gift of time and treasure that is proportionate to their means.