At $99.99 a year, I’m the cheapest staff member you have and the most valuable in helping you hit your budget numbers. By subscribing to and following my advice each week, you can be fully funded to do all God has laid upon your heart. In this Coach, entitled A Yearly Overview of Stewardship Planning, I will share how I approach building a culture of generosity built on biblical stewardship.
Get a plan and work your plan! That has been my mantra for years as I have coached pastors and staff across this country. Few churches, if any, have a generosity/stewardship plan. Most rarely think about giving until they are in some crisis and lacking funds. The time to ensure you have adequate funds is now, not in the midst of a crisis. Donors respond poorly, if at all, to desperate appeals.
I have been crafting giving strategies for top 100 churches and churches running 100 for nearly twenty-five years. When it comes to giving strategies, I think seasonally. Here is my yearly seasonal overview:
- Start well to end well with a six-week plan culminating around Valentine’s Day. The first six weeks are the second slowest giving period of the year, and I focus on how to get out of the blocks strong.
- Easter Offering – Used correctly, your largest attended day of the year can increase generosity!
- Thank you strategy – By saying thank you, we earn the right for the second “ask.”
- Bad weather strategy – From snow to hurricanes, you must have a plan for the unexpected.
- Summer Giving Plan – I start in May focusing on the summer and keep that focus until after Labor Day.
- Come From Behind Strategy – I build a plan in August, culminating on Labor Day, to make up lost ground.
- 3-Day Weekend Plans – Three-day holiday weekends can be a budget killer. I will show you how to avoid that.
- EOY Strategy and Plans – Starting in late October, I begin planning for end-of-year appeals and strategy.
I have written my fair share of giving plans, and I must tell you that most get left on the shelf. As I have worked to sharpen what I offer to churches, I learned a valuable lesson a few years back. I can’t draw up a yearly plan, give it to the church, and expect it to be implemented. So, here is what I do now, I implement my seasonal planning quarter to quarter. That’s my advice to you. It’s not enough to have a plan. Someone must “own” that plan and see it gets implemented.
Who owns it? Someone must own the plan for the plan to get worked. The problem with many churches is that they get some plan, and then, as I mentioned, they let it collect dust on a shelf. For your plan to work, you must work on your plan! A key element is assigning tasks and responsibilities and holding people accountable. That includes the Senior Pastor!
Hitting your budget numbers is not an accident; it happens with good planning. So, let’s get to planning!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach