A pastor gives thanks

Church and finance |

New habit grows out of popular Everence-Lake Institute training



A seasoned pastor tells the story of how he learned to write personal thank-you notes to generous donors at his church. This action is small and simple, yet meaningful to many church attenders, even though they didn’t give to be noticed.

Pastors might want to rethink traditional ideas and practices around stewardship in churches. There are new ways to consider based on research and experience. 

That’s the plain-Jane but vital message of a workshop that Everence has offered since 2012 in partnership with Lake Institute on Faith and Giving. 

Based in Indianapolis, Lake Institute is a small but weighty institute nestled within the Indiana University regional campus that offers authoritative education and counsel to churches.

Busy season in 2018

This year is the busiest ever season for the seminar, Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity, with nine scheduled through Everence around the country, says Everence Stewardship Education Director Beryl Jantzi.

Everence has partnered with Lake Institute to teach churches about the latest research on giving within churches – and then to train them on practical skills to update and enhance their stewardship ministries. These training have deepened the stewardship expertise in many churches.

“The seminar is based on the credibility of IU along with rigorous research that’s update annually with current data,” said Beryl. “It’s a robust curriculum.” And, it offered some recent good news – giving to churches increased over the last year after some years of stagnation.

Over 500 take deep dive

Since Everence started this training, approximately 500 stewardship leaders at 160 churches have taken this deep-dive seminar on stewardship. Typically, three to four leaders (including pastors) from each church come to intimate gatherings of often six to seven churches for one to two days.

Beryl along with Everence Charitable and Church Relations Consultant Vyron Schmidt often lead the sessions. Regional Everence Stewardship Consultants also lead them in their local communities.

Based on its experience, Everence has gained enough expertise and now is one of the few organizations certified by Lake to offer the seminar without a Lake leader.

Learn more

Learn more about Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity. Churches from any network or denomination are welcome to the ecumenically oriented seminars.


Everence Staff