Gratitude to God for the gifts with which he has blessed us is at the foundation of Christian stewardship. This holds true in our personal lives, as well as in the life of our parish.
If this simple truth gets lost in the shuffle because of the need to get the “real work done” in order to grow stewardship in your parish, you most certainly will come up short. All too often, I see or hear from parishes that primarily look at what they don’t have and fail to look at all of the blessings they do have. These blessings are right there in front of each and every one of us. We just need to open our eyes.
For any parish working to develop the understanding and practice of stewardship, gratitude needs to be a constant theme. It needs to be repeated over and over again. It needs to regularly be a focus in homilies throughout the year. It needs to be a focus in parish leadership and staff meetings. And it needs to be in the everyday interactions of our priests, deacons, staff people, parish leaders, ushers, greeters, and anyone else who has contact with parishioners on a regular basis, whether it be through ministry involvement or other forms of parish service.
If a culture of gratefulness is imbued throughout a parish, it will have more traction in the development of stewardship than any number of action steps you can take.