What Would You Do?

What is the most extreme thing your congregation has done to meet a goal?

Let me tell you about Southminster Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS and their process to raise $8,000 for One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) in 2015.

Reverend Jeff Clayton explained that there has been a historic emphasis on One Great Hour of Sharing at Southminster for over 20 years. They receive all four PCUSA offerings as well as support various other missions, but he explained that OGHS is the biggest because it “jazzes people about the purpose behind the offering.”

The session at Southminster has a long history of setting challenge goals for OGHS – if the church meets or exceeds the goal by $500 they raise the goal for next year. The goal has been set at $8000 for five years, but in 2014 they fell short by almost $3000. When it came time to set a goal for 2015, the session wrestled with their decision – would they lower expectations and dial back their goal?

The stewardship committee felt that the goal should not be reduced, so they agreed to renew the challenge to the congregation – to meet the goal and not step back. So how did they renew energy for this long-term offering in their congregation? Rev. Clayton reflected on what may have made this year more helpful than last – what he called a “sharpened interpretation”: 

  • We added two Sundays of minutes for mission to remind members of the impact of the upcoming offering
  • One Sunday we had 8 yr olds walking water buckets down the aisle (spilling water accidentally) while an adult spoke about young girls in other countries not able to go to school because they had to carry water through dangerous places
  • Our Chair of Christian Education committee used the “Chicks not Peeps” campaign to teach children and families about giving to OGHS, and set a goal for each family to give $25 in their fish banks.  

Bulletin Board at Southminster Presbyterian Church proclaims meeting $8000 goal

Overall, Rev. Clayton says church leadership was very motivated to reach the goal this year. They came up with creative ideas and had better planning to renew their focus. 

Congratulations are in order to Southminster for renewing energy around a long-time tradition. How has your congregation challenged itself to meet a goal? In what ways have you found luck in promoting Special Offerings? We always love to hear your stories at specialofferings@pcusa.org!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)