Stewardship Program Options – Encouraging Word – July 2018

Stewardship Program Options

WELS Congregational Services is producing a new stewardship program for 2019. Meanwhile, congregations can find stewardship resources and quality programs at If you haven’t already tried them, here are a couple of recent programs with good reviews.

Joyful Generosity guides followers of Christ through the Bible’s clear teachings on the management of our possessions. The program includes six weeks of worship and Bible study materials as well as 21 personal devotions. Dave Fleischmann, pastor at Trinity, Kaukauna, Wis., was happy with the gospel approach of the series, saying, “I pray that it affects the hearts of my members as much as it affected my heart.”

364 Days of Thanksgiving focuses on how we can be thankful every day for the blessings God gives us. The emphasis includes three weeks of worship and Bible study resources. Churches can bulk order a devotional journal at a discount for members to use to record their blessings. Ray Schumacher is a member at St. Peter’s, Helenville. His congregation decided to hand out the book to encourage members to count God’s blessings. Members liked the idea so much that each time an announcement was made about the program, a member would step forward to cover the cost of books. In the end many people could take a book for free. “The other thing that caught my attention,” Ray shared, “was that people were following through. They would talk about how the process helped them see how many blessings they had received.”

Resources for Processing IRA Charitable Distributions – Encouraging Word – July 2018

Resources for Processing IRA Charitable Distributions

WELS members looking to authorize a gift to the Lord’s work through their IRAs, and congregations needing a template to acknowledge an IRA qualified charitable distribution, can find these resources at The page also shares articles for promoting this giving opportunity.

Anybody 70.5 years or older can transfer up to $100,000 per year to charity free from federal and potentially state income tax. Those who don’t need the required minimum distributions from their IRA might consider directing those to ministry to save on taxes, then using the cash that would have gone to charity for other needs.

Contact your local WELS Christian giving counselor for free assistance.

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – July 2018

Teaching Stewardship to Children

Share this month’s planned giving article, “Ideas for Teaching Stewardship to Children” via your church newsletter, e-mail, or web site. The article contains practical ideas for teaching stewardship to children including modeling a generous lifestyle, managing money, donating, and volunteering. Most important, though, is regular time in God’s Word with our kids so that we have God’s power to redirect our focus from ourselves to others.

Words of Wisdom – Encouraging Word – July 2018

Stewardship Deals with Issues Much Bigger than Money

“I once saw a plaque with the following inscription: ‘What you have is God’s gift to you. What you do with what you have is your gift to God.’ ‘What I do with what God has given to me’—those words are a good working definition of stewardship . . . My stewardship, then, is my management of what God in heaven has given to me on earth. Stewardship is a personal, practical matter. It involves God and me. It involves what I did with my life yesterday, as well as my plans for tomorrow. It involves the way I am spending my time right now. Stewardship is an especially practical matter for the Christian . . . We know the Savior who bought us with his blood . . . we have a desire to serve our Lord and Savior with all that we have.”

Wolfgramm, Arno J. Stewardship: What I Do with What God Gave Me. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2001.

Your Gifts, God’s Blessings 2018 – Encouraging Word – May 2018

Your Gifts, God’s Blessings 2018

“Your gifts, God’s blessings: An annual report to our members” highlights the blessings that God has showered on WELS through the gifts of its members. Learn more about

  • Russell Scoggins, a seminary student from Texas who served in the Washington, D.C., area, during his vicar year;
  • Carl Boeder, a Martin Luther College student who began studying secondary instrumental music and elementary education but transitioned to pastor studies and is now busy studying three different languages;
  • Jackson, a new Lutheran living in Venezuela, who has opened his home for weekly worship;
  • Santo Tomas, one of WELS’ first Spanish-speaking congregations, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017; and
  • Mike Indest, a member of Crown of Life, New Orleans, La., who recently completed Martin Luther College’s Chaplain Certification Program.

The report includes photos of Christian brothers and sisters around the world, stories of faith, updates on WELS’ ministry, and a summary of WELS’ financial picture.

To view the report online, visit Print versions are available for free from Northwestern Publishing House. Visit or call 800-662-6022.

Want to learn even more about how God is blessing your gifts to him for his work through WELS? Schedule a Christian giving counselor to present a PowerPoint presentation to your congregation that summarizes the information in the annual report. Contact the Ministry of Christian Giving at 800-827-5482 for more information.