Grace Duddy Pomroy will be one of the keynote speakers at the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s Leadership Seminar in Florida in December. As a good friend of mine and a Millennial, I thought it would be fun to have her share some thoughts prior to the seminar on the COMPASS blog.
What follows are the continued thoughts from a recent conversation and interview I conducted with Grace. Be sure to check out the first part of the conversation here.
Timothy Siburg (TS): Taking a broader brush now Grace, what are some insights and implications about Millennials, giving, and the church that stand out to you?
Grace Duddy Pomroy (GP): “The intergenerational aspect to the conversation around stewardship is imperative. The cross-generational talking points are huge. There needs to be more space in the church for conversations like how to engage young parents, and respond more directly to the unique and constantly changing lifestyles and challenges younger adults face. This is a huge opportunity for the church, and one for which old models may not work. Engaging Millennials in conversations about faith-based stewardship and generosity presents both a wonderful challenge and golden opportunity.
In meeting this challenge, peer-to-peer engagement is key. Part of the challenge and opportunity for the church is tapping into the power of peer-to-peer engagement among Millennials, especially with advocacy.
For an example of how this can be effective, consider Jacob’s Well, a missional community in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Just last week they, along with most other non-profits in Minnesota, participated in “Give to the Max Day” a day where people are highly encouraged to give and support their favorite causes and/or organizations. As part of the day, there are different prizes and incentives. Jacob’s Well decided to leverage social media and peer-to-peer engagement. They figured that they could be the most given to organization between 2-3am that morning, and receive a special “Golden Ticket.” These are incentives like an extra $1000 (or more) for different benchmarks or goals. One is being the most engaged or given to group each hour. To try and encourage everyone to give though at 2am instead of during a normal business hour, Jacob’s Well used social media to have people say, ‘I’m in, are you?’ The excitement covered all of their social media, and they had so many people give. I’m not sure if they made their goal or not, but it just shows what engagement can look like around a cause with shared passion. For me, this is a good reminder about the power of social media.”
TS: Grace, this is a fantastic conversation, so thank you. To wrap this up I have a couple quick other questions. First, COMPASS is all about faith, finances and young adults. What comes to your mind about that intersection?
GP: “As a blogger myself and one of the points of emphasis of my blogging, I believe that young adults today have a deep understanding of frugality that they would never name themselves. They are frugal by their nature. I think this largely has to do with the fact that most of this generation of young adults came out of school and college in the midst of a major recession. Many decided just to go back to school, and are now entering the workforce with loans, but they are entering with honesty and hope.”
TS: In the spirit of the COMPASS blog in November’s focus of “An Attitude of Gratitude,” what are some of your thoughts on gratitude?
GP: “Gratitude has always been huge in my life. It’s not the same thing as stewardship, but they go together well. I grew up in a family where thank you notes were customary. They may have started as a ‘have to’ but quickly became a ‘want to’ and regular part of life. I honestly believe that expressing gratitude can change a person’s life.
A personal story. My grandfather just started kidney dialysis treatments. Recognizing this and that I can’t physically be with him and my grandmother, I wanted to find a way to still be present with them. A friend suggested that I write a letter. I am now writing a letter of thankfulness and gratitude to them each week, telling them how grateful I am for their influence in life. It’s been so much fun to hear back from them about how they appreciate my questions, the sharing of memories, etc. I’m enjoying it so much too, that’s why I am writing each week instead just once or twice.”
TS: Finally, with Thanksgiving being this week, what are you thankful for?
GP: “Well, I just recently got married and so I am incredibly thankful for my husband Tyler. In addition to that, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is my dad’s and also has become mine. It’s my favorite because there are no gift expectations, rather we gather on Thanksgiving and are just grateful for each other’s presence and company. There is something beautiful and wonderful about that.”
Thank you Grace for sharing. I hope you enjoy hearing more from Grace at the Leadership Seminar next week. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!
About the Interviewee: Grace Duddy Pomry is Executive Director of Operations at Kairos and Associates, and previously served as Assistant Director for the Center for Stewardship Leaders and Luther Seminary. She is author of “Stewards of God’s Love”, recently published by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She blogs regularly and you can follow her on Twitter.
This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.