Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. – 1 Timothy 6:18-19 (NIV)
Stewardship development has several purposes:
- Enhance stewardship development, education and participation.
- Provide a first step for believers to obediently exercise their spiritual gift of giving.
- Raise money for a general budget or one fund, or for special projects or a major capital improvement.
Asking church members to give a biblical tithe or to pray about giving offerings beyond the tithe must be done with complete integrity and transparency. Consider establishing core principles about the ways your church will raise money.
In order to allay fears that many people have about special giving campaigns, some churches have made core promises to their members. Take a look at a sample fundraising covenant:
- There Is No Pressure to Give – Each member is simply asked to pray about their commitment and respond as the Holy Spirit leads.
- There Is No Internal Tracking of Commitments Made – Each individual or family is asked to make a faith commitment as a covenant with God (and no one else). A commitment card is turned in for the sole purpose of compiling an amount of expected faith giving over a specified time period.
- There Are No Home Visits
- There Are No Phone Calls
- There Are No Surprises
- Year End Giving
- Stimulate end of the year giving with an Annual Report in early December.
- Highlight annual accomplishments with statistics, selected quotes, etc.
- Use the back cover to highlight the ministry budget: “God is accomplishing great things through the ministry of First Church, which is made possible through your faithful financial support. This represents a summary of the ministry budget approved for this budget year.”
- Include a budget summary to illustrate how money is allocated.
- Attach a special ministry budget envelope to the Annual Report.
- Summer Giving
- Stimulate summer giving with an April/May emphasis highlighting summer ministries.
- Create a promotional flyer and distribute it widely.
- Provide regular giving updates throughout the summer.
- Tell summer stories about life change and gospel impact.
- Highlight important summer outreach, missions and next generation ministry opportunities.
- Verbalize the “why” behind summer events.
- AM Worship Emphasis
- Share giving stories to illustrate the blessing of tithing (by video and live).
- Plan semi-annual or quarterly giving messages.
- Be careful about over-emphasizing non-budget giving.
- Giving Statements
- Send a personal letter from the Lead Pastor with giving statements.
- Send semi-annual ministry updates with giving statements.
- Assimilation Process
- Communicate regular giving as a responsibility of church membership.
- Provide offering envelopes to new members at each Discovery Class event.
- Giving Communication
- Develop a comprehensive communication strategy for giving options.
- Communicate giving options (online giving, text to give, envelopes, etc.)regularly.
- Redesign offering envelopes to be more inclusive of the church’s multisite