Historically, Christians have often observed Lent by giving up something, maybe by abstaining from certain foods or activities. More recently, many believers have begun to observe Lent by taking on something, maybe a new spiritual discipline or a service opportunity. Here are a few ideas to share with your congregation on some stewardship-related Lenten observances. Don’t stop here – let these ideas fuel your thinking about how to honor God during Lent!
Form a new habit. According to a study cited by Michael Hyatt (1), it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit. Starting with Lent will get us over halfway there! For those who aren’t in the habit of tracking their spending, maybe daily expense tracking during Lent is a good place to start. Taking a moment each day to pray over our spending and thank God for meeting our needs will make this more than just a daily exercise and help us cultivate a spirit of gratitude in the process.
Free up resources for Kingdom work. While many people give up something for Lent, this can be more meaningful by combining the giving up with something positive. For example, fasting is not meant to be simply abstinence from food – it’s meant to encourage the believer to spend additional time in prayer and to heighten gratitude for God’s provision. One idea along these lines for Lent would be to give up some regular spending (maybe that daily Starbuck’s?) and giving the money saved to church or to a specific ministry.
Give of ourselves. Freeing up resources can be even more meaningful if it’s combined with serving God and serving others in some way. Giving in conjunction with serving can create additional vision and connection. One example would be to give to a local food pantry and volunteer a day to stock the shelves or serve the patrons of the food pantry.
(1) https://michaelhyatt.com/make-a-new-habit-stick/, accessed on February 11, 2018.