The Evergreen Project is a fresh approach to addressing one of the most difficult questions in ministry: How can pastors talk about stewardship, generosity, and money with the people they are trying to serve and lead?
The subject fills pastors with dread and congregations with skepticism. Isn’t the priest supposed to feed the sheep, not fleece the sheep?! No matter how challenging, though, rectors know this is an area of pastoral leadership that must not be neglected.
Over the next few months, The Evergreen Project will be rolling out resources across the ACNA to serve you, your church, your peers and colleagues in the diocese, and your community in the areas of stewardship and generosity.
But this isn’t meant to be a ‘top-down’ movement. I understand the hesitation most have when a ‘national body’ starts trying to give direction to local churches. In my thirty years as a rector, I know my natural urge was to file all of the ‘denominational programming initiatives’ in the round file next to my desk. And I followed that instinct—many times.
The Evergreen Project aims to collect, create, and curate the best resources from around the province, so we can to help every church in the ACNA thrive in the areas of generosity, stewardship, and outreach.
We want to find churches and leaders that are really pressing in on the topic of stewardship and generosity. The culture and the age demand that every leader figure this out in their own contexts. As practitioners find effective ministry strategies, I hope to ‘borrow shamelessly’ everything that might bear fruit in other parishes and congregations.
Not everything that we find in the ACNA will be immediately transferable. Size, region, liturgical practices—all of these will invariably shape how a rector will address stewardship and giving. As we gather the best of the best, we will work to make resources that are accessible and flexible.
The truth is that many of these resources simply don’t exist. Rectors are stretched so thin in their daily pastoral responsibilities, there isn’t always time for the kind of professional intentionality this subject demands. That’s where we will come in to deliver original resources that meet you where you are and empower your ministry.
The Evergreen Project will publish accessible and biblical teaching on stewardship, giving, generosity, outreach, and involvement in your community. Specifically, this Fall every church will have an opportunity to adopt a parish-wide emphasis in stewardship. There will be adult study material, preaching outlines, devotional writing, video-based testimony preparation, and much more. Initial preview material is scheduled to be available at the Assembly in June; the full program contents will be in a downloadable form by August 1st.
You and your church can participate in the exclusive “Evergreen Pilot Congregation Program.” As an Evergreen Pilot Church, you will be asked to take an initial reading or ‘benchmark’ for your congregation and then, through regular online tutorial sessions, begin a generosity program in your own context. I will serve as your guide during this time. A terrific young colleague and Rector (Andrew Petta) will be involved too.
If you sign-up with me for this early round, you will have a clear vision for generosity in your parish, training for vestry and leaders, and a 12-month plan to build a movement within your congregation.
Monday, May 13th, 11:00 a.m. CST
The Evergreen Project will grow your church! When your church becomes a giving church, it has a tremendous spill-over effect in your community. The members of your church will see for themselves the truth of Jesus’ example and Paul’s teaching on the subject. They will be converted not just to the person and character of Jesus Christ, but also trained to follow him as he crosses borders, barriers, and boundaries with the overflowing love and generosity of God.
Go to TheEvergreenProject.org and take a look around the new site. Sign up to receive email updates. You will see how The Evergreen Project can be ‘Ever Good’ for your church.
PS: Rectors, if you want to join in our Pilot Program, please send an email asap to: Kelly@LeaderWorks.org. We are going to have an online webinar for those interested. I will explain how this could work for you and your church; then you can decide.