Preaching on Stewardship: Discern Three Meaningful Sermon Themes in Less than an Hour

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Many preachers dread preaching about stewardship.

They say things like:

  • What is there left to say? Stewardship is the same thing year after year: give your time, talent, and treasure!

  • I feel so much pressure. The outcome of our parish budget rests on our stewardship campaign, and a lot of the campaign depends on my preaching.

  • I hate asking for money!

  • If we don’t bring enough money what will happen to my income? Will I still have a job next year?

The problem with this approach is it puts the cart before the horse.

In this case the “cart” is the outcome: the amount of time, talent, and treasure people give on which the parish budget and programs depend. 

This cart contains idols of scarcity and desperation to achieve that which is beyond our control:  what people feel they can, should, and are called to offer in God’s service. 

In the end, that decision rests only between the listener and God—and we are not privy to, nor have control over that conversation. 

Rather than be concerned about what people place in their metaphorical stewardship carts, we can be concerned about the “horse.” That is, we can concern ourselves with what leads the way:

  • the spiritual needs of our congregation to love God first and most

  • to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength

  • to live in gratitude, placing all we have and all we are at God’s disposal.

When we place our discernment there, we’ll discover the gaps between what God offers us—and what we hold back.

With this guide, you’ll decrease the stress and dread of stewardship sermons by discerning the theological ground upon which your stewardship sermons stand. In less than an hour, you’ll complete five simple steps:

  • Pray

  • Study

  • Connect

  • Discern

  • Preach

I hope you find this preaching guide helpful for your congregation’s spiritual health—and your own.

Be Good News to Preach Good News,

Lisa Cressman+

Founding Steward, Backstory Preaching