The Basic Elements of Stewardship Planning – I wrote a basic outline a few years back that shows how to approach stewardship awareness and planning in staff or Finance team meetings.
First, review. Start by reviewing the results of current giving compared to past giving. I recommend that you share a weekly update on the state of giving at your church. Everyone needs to know where you are, and your review should contain two elements. First, you need to review your giving. When you review giving, look at the following…
- How much has been given to date, and how does that compare to the budget needed?
- How did the last quarter compare year-to-date from last year?
- Always look at how the past week compared to the same week last year and the previous week.
- Then, finally, were there any new donors that showed up for the first time? Every church has a backdoor, so you must continually think about and seek new donors. The number of losses compared to gains is called The Churn Rate. How is yours? A first-time giver plan can help you get the second gift, beginning a lifetime of generosity and, more likely, a long-time giver to your church.
The second element of your review is to look at what you did the last quarter in terms of attempting to increase giving and givers.
- What worked? What did not work and why?
- What were the reasons something worked or did not work? How can you improve?
- What lessons can be learned?
The key to successful planning is to review, review, review!
Next, preview. – Spend time talking about what is coming up in the next quarter.
- What missions or ministry initiatives does your church have?
- What will be the focus for the three months coming up?
- Then how can you build out a message to support those initiatives?
- Who will be responsible for the various elements of this push?
Finally, praying to make the budget should be a priority for everyone on staff. Giving is a spiritual exercise and praying that your offering plates are full is essential to a successful stewardship plan. Make sure every staff member knows what it takes to make the budget weekly. Then encourage them to help you pray it in!
Then put your plan into action and begin back at step one. Each week, by taking 15-30 minutes of your staff time, you will better position yourself to have the best giving year.