A few years ago, a client emailed me this note…
“I’m thinking about starting up a stewardship committee of our Vestry/Board. So, here’s my question: if you had a board or stewardship committee, what would you task them with and how would you use them? My concern is that a lot of this stuff necessarily comes from my desk. So how could they be helpful without being cumbersome?”
While the Senior Pastor must take the lead in all things related to generosity/stewardship it should not fall exclusively on a pastor’s shoulders. Getting help is essential. Yet, as this pastor said, the key is for it to “be helpful without being cumbersome.”
So, basically what this pastor wants to do is to set up a team to help keep giving in front of the congregation in creative ways. In fact, I often call this team, the Creative Team. You can name it whatever you like but having a team is essential. Here, in part, is what I wrote back to him. The advice I gave him will serve you as well.
First and foremost, you need to set it up right. You don’t want it coming back and creating problems instead of solving them. Setting perimeters for the team or committee is essential. My view is that this is not the task of the Finance Team. Your Finance Team’s task is the creation and oversight of the budget. In essence, they manage the money. Your Generosity Team or Creative Team’s task is to communicate the story behind the budget.
To set this up right you need…
- The right people. I would advise that this team not be stacked with financial people or only number crunchers. You need people who are creative and know how to translate the way of giving in all the various ways we have today, i.e., social media, video, etc. I would advise a small team of no more than five people from all interests of the church. You want people on the team that know social media. You want those that know how to write and edit. You want creative people who think outside the box.
- The right mission. My mantra is always that to increase giving we must make it fun and easy. That is the task of this team. I task them with the message and means of giving at a church.
- The right tools. Here is a quick list of the tools your team will need.
1. Dynamic website.
2. Robust online giving platform, including text giving. https://www.onlinegiving.org/
3. Social Media platform and presence.
4. Postage-prepaid envelopes.
5. Extensive database of your donors.
6. A mass email platform, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp.
7. Offering talks. This is the easiest and quickes. t way to increase giving.
- The right plan. Empower your team to design and implement plans for increasing giving.
I would have them meet at least once a quarter. At that meeting, I would have them lay out all of what is upcoming in the next quarter in terms of mission and ministry. What is the message or story of each of those? What is the “ask” behind each of them? How best to tell the story? Social media, print, online, or other means? Remember, if you are not planning you are planning on failure! Set up and recruit your team today to plan for giving success.