March 26, 2019
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer, poet
Are you wishing for better results for your congregation’s annual stewardship campaigns? Perhaps it’s time to add intentional planning, starting right now, to make your wish come true.
“Intentional Stewardship” was the theme of a recent workshop presented by the Faithful Stewards Commission of the Diocese of Northern Indiana. Last April (2018), this team of clergy and lay people participated in a 3-day, Project Resource course held at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas. They received solid, how-to information about stewardship ministry (to learn more about Project Resource, visit https://project-resource.org/).
The faith communities of three of the Commission members implemented ideas from Project Resource into their Fall 2018 annual giving campaigns and documented their experiences. The Commission also learned about two other blueprints for annual giving campaigns being used in the diocese, as offered by United Thank Offering and The Episcopal Network for Stewardship or TENS.
Faithful Stewards team members determined that the most important lesson common to all three methods is: Be intentional about stewardship ministry. Experiences implementing each of these methods were shared at the Faithful Stewards Resource Day held at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Warsaw, Indiana. Keynote Speaker, ECF President Donald Romanik, added an inspirational message about discipleship and gratitude.
The overarching message of the day: regardless of methodology, the most important thing is to use it - fully, prayerfully, creatively and intentionally. Recruit a small but committed committee and establish a calendar-based implementation plan to keep you on track to communicate with and engage the entire congregation.
There are so many resources available to help congregations do stewardship well, including the three sources mentioned above. ECF’s Vital Practices website lists 14 pages of articles about stewardship! Click here to view them.
Find a methodology that matches your congregation’s culture and sensibilities, and use it. Not haphazardly, but intentionally.
Stewardship Ministry can be a fun, spiritual and uplifting endeavor – really! All it takes is some intentional effort.