The Maranatha church members are experiencing blessings, even in COVID times. The church saw a 100 percent increase in remittances to the Greater New York Conference in January over the same period in the past two years.
To put things into perspective, during March 2020, when New Yorkers began feeling the impact of the coronavirus, remittances fell by 16 percent compared to the previous year. Laundale Munroe, the church’s pastor, believed a few factors accounted for this.
First, he met with the elders and asked them to stay connected with members. Every member of the leadership team was assigned a certain number of members to contact regularly. The leaders presented reports monthly. One of the issues they were asked to address is the members’ commitment to stewardship. After that time, the tithe report matched or sometimes surpassed pre-COVID times.
Second, at the start of the year, the pastor conducted a stewardship campaign. He preached four sermons on stewardship during the month of January. The inspiration to do that came from a seminar he attended at the Greater New York Conference conducted by Donnieval Walker, the conference’s stewardship director. Following the January sermons, the leadership team noticed that a couple of members returned significant tithes.
They named the stewardship campaign series “Experience Blessing.” The objective was to deepen the members’ understanding of stewardship. In short, financial stewardship was only one of the many implications of stewardship. Stewardship is not asking the members just to return tithe; it involves their whole lives.
The reaction from members included those who said they were “inspired to make a deeper commitment to the Lord and His work.” Some said they had not previously seen the connection between stewardship and Jesus’ lordship. Others indicated that they “plan to return to the Lord His portion.”
The Maranatha church has also noticed an increase in the subscriptions for their YouTube channel since the event.
—Leadership team, Maranatha church