If it’s been a long time (or perhaps never) since you had a “functioning” Stewardship Ministry Team, now is the time to recruit and train a group of individuals to serve. As we continue navigating our way out of the pandemic, we are entering a space we are calling the “new normal”. New normal times provide great opportunities for establishing new ways of functioning.
Let’s face it, we all know that a ministry organizational chart needs to include Stewardship Ministry! It’s just that we get burned out from hearing people say, “I’m not good at and don’t want to ask people for money”. We all also know that this is not what stewardship ministry is about. We need to continue to educate people what stewardship ministry is about and teach it until (as my mother used to say) we are blue-in-the-face.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- The Stewardship Ministry Team (SMT) in the local congregation is for the purpose of educating the congregation in the Biblical principles of whole life stewardship (time, passions, and generosity) and not merely the raising of money to meet budgets. Therefore the team should be made of those who are not primarily responsible for the financial management of the church’s budget.
- The SMT needs to be a fully-formed, free-standing group which meets regularly (at least once a month).
- The team plans a year-round stewardship program in support of the church mission statement. (If the congregation does not have a mission statement with ministry goals, it needs one.)
- The team needs to let the congregation know how their gifts of time, passions, and generosity, makes a difference. They need to thank people often.
- It is important to personalize giving (through newsletters, the website, bulletin blurbs, and lay faith focus talks in worship) so people can see and pray for what their gifts are doing.
- The team needs to plan and implement an annual stewardship response opportunity complete with asking people to make commitments to the ministry of the church.
- The team needs to help people become better acquainted with their spiritual gifts and how they can invest those gifts through the ministry of the church.
- The team should be comprised of people who are mature in their personal faith commitment and are already practicing stewards.
- Team members need to be eager and open to sharing their faith relationship with stewardship with others, yet humble in their attitude toward themselves.
- The team needs to promote the stewardship of accumulated resources through long-range gift planning (wills, bequests, trusts, and family foundations) and provide guidelines for receiving major gifts such as stocks.
Scripture clearly teaches that stewardship is a management task for God’s people. Stewards are managers of the gifts God has entrusted to them. That is why the purpose of the SMT and the focus of what it communicates should be to develop well-managed Christian lives.
The SMT is not about asking people for money, it is about encouraging a Christian lifestyle.
If you have questions and would like to talk further about the Capital Campaign Process, don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
John V. Clark, President/Partner
The James Company