As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.
How do we respond to God’s call to serve and love our neighbors? We faithfully steward the gifts God has so abundantly given to us. On this page you will find resources for stewardship – congregational, personal, and household stewardship.
What is Mission Support? Mission Support is the portion of your weekly financial offering that your congregation shares with your synod and the churchwide organization, the other two expressions of this church. As members of the ELCA, we do mission together through our financial giving. We do God’s work in ways that no individual, congregation, or synod can do alone.
In our Southwestern Minnesota Synod, 51.5% of your Mission Support offerings are being shared with churchwide ministries of our ELCA and the other 48.5% funds ministries of our synod.
How Mission Support Funds Ministry Across our Church
Your offering supports your congregation’s vital presence in your community. When your congregation votes to designate the percentage of your offerings it will share with your synod, your congregation is sharing Mission Support for ministries led by the wider church on your behalf.
Your congregation’s Mission Support dollars are stewarded by your synod leaders to nurture and equip ELCA congregations and rostered ministers. Synods support area ministry partners (camps, colleges, seminaries and more) and build relationships with global-companion churches. Synods designate a portion of the Mission Support funds they receive from congregations to be shared with your churchwide organization for ministries across our church.
Your Churchwide Organization
Your churchwide organization uses Mission Support dollars to lead and support ministry on behalf of the whole church. This
includes starting and supporting new ELCA ministries, training leaders, sending missionaries and growing the Lutheran church around the world.
In 2020, ELCA members gave $1.7 billion in unrestricted offerings* to support God’s mission and ministry through the three expressions of the ELCA.
*Unrestricted offerings do not include special offerings such as congregational capital improvements or gifts to ministries like Lutheran Disaster Response.
94.7% Congregations ($1.6 billion was stewarded by the ELCA’s 8,900 congregations, $90.2 million was shared by congregations as Mission Support)
2.9% Synods (49.5 million was stewarded by the ELCA’s 65 synods)
2.4% Churchwide Organization (40.7 million was stewarded by the ELCA churchwide organization)
Click here to read Stories of Faith in Action to see how your offering from the past year has made a difference in raising up leaders and revitalizing congregations.
Where does my offering go?
Making a planned gift is a powerful way to express your compassion and values. Your planned gift becomes a witness to your faith in Jesus Christ. Pr. Dee Pederson, our Director for Evangelical Mission is available to help you plan and develop your holistic stewardship education as well as help you put together a financial generosity strategy.
Rev. Keith Pearson, our synod’s Regional Gift Planner, can also provide expertise, resources, financial education, and investment and endowment management services to help explore the variety of possibilities to give with generosity – today and into the future.
Rev. Keith Pearson, Regional Gift Planner
The ELCA Foundation offers planning guidance, impact stories, and information on endowment investing. Click here to view the ELCA Foundation webpage.
Although some think of stewardship as only a financial response to God’s love, stewardship encompasses so much more than money. It is about how we use all that God has entrusted to our care – our time, our talents, and our treasures – to love God and our neighbors, both inside and outside of the church walls and our homes.
All of these resources are links. Please click the titles below to view.
Building a Stewardship House: Tools for a Strong Foundation of Generosity
Click here to view the entire live event from August 27, 2015. (The sound/slide issues are resolved after 18 mins.)
- Opening Thoughts – Bishop Jon Anderson
- Because Anxiety Makes Us Stupid – Rev. Catherine Malotky
- Young Adults & Giving: From Myths to Ministry – Rev. Adam Copeland
- Surprise! Introverted Treasurers Positively Affect Stewardship – David Anfinson
- Crowdfunding the Church – Rev. Adam Copeland
- Closing Thoughts – Bishop Steve Delzer