Vision, Mission and Money The Key to Stewardship….
Introduction –We will talk about what a VISION OF MISSION is in our time together today. We will also talk about the fact that a congregation begins to be involved in good stewardship when it balances a budget that addresses mission. –We will not tell you today how to run your annual campaign…..but you may pick up some helpful hints….
Some quotes…. "The miracle is this... the more we share, the more we have." -- Leonard Nimoy If we are to use anything as the gift of God, we are to use everything as God's gift. William Law
Some more quotes…. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." --Gospel according to Luke 12:34 "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -- Winston Churchill
Even More quotes…. "The duty of all Christians is to follow Christ, to come together week by week for corporate worship; and to work, pray and give for the spread of the kingdom of God." -- Book of Common prayer, page 856
And the Last Quote… What a man loves with all his heart and soul and might, this for him is God -- Origen Non-inclusive language not withstanding, this is all too true. It is especially true when we are dealing with money. Its now time to turn this around…….
What Stewardship is NOT: Stewardship is not about giving money to meet a budget Stewardship is not fund raising.
What Stewardship IS: Stewardship is what we do after we say I believe…. Stewardship is living into a VISION OF MINISTRY in a concrete way. Stewardship is the main work of the church. Stewardship is the way we use all our resources, including our time, talent and treasure, to continue Christs work of reconciliation in the world.
What is Mission? Mission is what God calls us to do. If mission is what God calls us to do, ministry is a way of answering that call. Our ministry is the particular way we respond to Gods call. Each persons particular personality, background and circumstance influences his or her ministry. This is also true for the ministry of the local congregation.
Four Sources for Understanding Mission Scripture Reason Tradition Personal Faith
Scripture The bible is the central document of the Church. We find in scripture the call of God to the people of God throughout the Old and New Testaments, including: –The call to love (John 15:12) –The call to service (Matthew 25:37-39) –The call to discipleship (Matthew 28:6-20)
Reason Reason enables us to understand and test our perception of Gods will. By reason we apply eternal truths to todays times. By reason we determine how to respond to Gods will today. Reason makes a most valuable contribution when it prevents us from an unquestioning obedience to how we have always done things, or to authority figures, or to popular sentiment, or even to our own prejudices.
Tradition The tradition of the Church is embodied in the historical record of Church practices and teachings. Church tradition provides many understandings for the mission of the church. The Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal are great sources of our traditions understanding of the mission of the Church.
Personal Faith Our relationship with our living Lord Jesus Christ is our fourth resource. The key to this resource is in private devotions as well as corporate worship. It is especially because of this resource that we should always be asking people to prayerfully consider the gifts that they have been given, and their response to those gifts!
The Vision Statement "Where there is no vision the people perish." Book of Proverbs (29:18). "Worse than being blind would be to be able to see but not have any vision." --Helen Keller A Churchs vision statement is the BEING statement for the Church. What are we called to BE? The best vision statements are short and catchy, thereby easy to remember. –We are called to be fed as we feed
The Mission Statement Once we develop the vision statement, the mission statement can be developed. –Some congregations prefer to have just one statement – thats fine as well. The mission statement is an answer to the question: What is Christ calling this community of faith in our diocese to DO now?
Why have a Mission Statement? Everyone benefits when the congregation has articulated a clear vision of its mission in the form of a mission statement. The clergy, vestry and general membership then become partners in discipleship and leadership. The mission statement is a tool to use in evaluating congregational activities.
Mission Statement How To…. Develop your mission statement in a group with group consensus. –There are different methods of doing this….from the complex to the simple. Choose the one thats right for you. Make sure your mission statement is included on EVERYTHING you publish in your parish…bulletin, newsletters, etc.
Mission Statement Ideas You may want to tie your mission statement to the Mission Statement of the Diocese. Check out other churchs mission statements for ideas. You want to make the statement specific enough to have people understand what it is you as a parish or organization consider yourselves called to DO.
Mission Statement of the Diocese of Los Angeles The ministries of the Diocese of Los Angeles are informed by the following mission statement, which was adopted by Diocesan Convention 1998: Joined in prayer and worship, we are communities of disciples of Jesus uplifted by our calling of God's reign of justice, peace and love. Rejoicing in our region's diversity, we will be God's pentecost people, inviting and welcoming and seeking to build congregations of service by being wise and enlightened in our faith and ministering with all our youth.
Mission Statement of the National Church The mission of the whole church is to seek and serve Christ in others, and we do that by teaching, working, and living our lives according to our beliefs. The mission of the Episcopal Church is to follow this plan in keeping with our tradition, and also to live in cooperation and harmony with every other christian church as we do so. We do this by participating in the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches, and by participating in the ecumenical movement with our brothers and sisters of different churches and with seeking understanding with people of all the world's other faiths.
What to do now… Once the Vision and Mission Statements, or simply the Mission Statement has been developed……. Use it! The ministries of the parish should be reviewed in light of your vision and/or mission statements – but especially in light of your mission statement.
Mission and Ministry Mission Statement: Follow Christ through the way we live and love, spreading the good news of God in Christ, opening our hearts to all, and experience/spread joy in the process. Outreach: Spreading the good news that St. Clements is here to assist the community to be more Christ-like through service. Buildings and Grounds: Available to help in a loving way to whatever comes up – an example of cooperation. Finance: How money is dispersed – look at people in parish and community and their needs – integrity in use of funds – openness in communication and reporting. Christian Education :To learn and to teach in order to better understand God in Christ and to expand ourselves to spread the good news. Youth: Having a reliable youth program in which the youth of St. Clements can come together to learn about and serve God.
Review the Current Budget…… Evaluate all current expenses in light of the mission statement. How is the mission statement served by line-items in the current budget? Involve many people, especially the people that have responsibility for ministry areas to critique their portion of the budget and invite their input.
More on the Current Budget The process may call for redefining job descriptions. Participants in the process should challenge programming that does not seem to contribute to mission. Make sure to evaluate volunteer ministries as well. How are the gifts of time and talent used to further the mission statement?
Devising an Action Plan After using the mission statement to evaluate the current budget, its time to devise an action plan for the coming year. Organize the action plan into mission categories such as service, worship, education, evangelism and pastoral care. Set priorities for mission, giving a brief rationale. Make sure you address how each program or ministry area addresses the mission statement.
More on the Action Plan The action plan is the document which canvassers can take with them when they visit parishioners during the annual pledge drive. Canvassers can show what the congregations vision of mission is, and how time, talent and treasure will be used. This outline of the mission and ministries of the congregation can inform all members (new and long-time members) about programs and ministries to which to contribute time and talents.
The Annual Canvass The focus of the annual canvass must be people, not budget. Once the results of the canvass are in, the vestry will then work to draw up the new budget, based on: –the action plan for the coming year, –the financial support pledged, and –the commitments of time and talents pledged to the various programs and ministries.
Organizing the New Budget Once the action plan is in place, it serves as the reason for the new budget figures. The advantage of the action plan is that the budget shows which ministries require, or have been requiring, what resources. The action plan and new budget paint a clearer picture for the congregation of how the offerings of the congregation carry out the mission of the parish.
Helpful Hints….and Things to Think About….. We do not fulfill the mission of the Church alone. We are partners with all baptized people. We are partners in mission with our Diocese, our national church, the Anglican Communion, and most importantly, we are partners in Mission with God.
More tips…. Make sure that your parish vision and mission statements are clearly identified on all that you publish, not just on the pledge card, but on EVERYTHING. By the time you get to your stewardship campaign, your mission statement and/or vision statement should be VERY familiar to your congregation. Include specific prayers in with your pledge card as you give them out to people – this is something that people need to pray about!
You knew it…theres more. You have to talk to people about vision, mission and money regularly, Sunday School on up through adult. –A great way is with a vestry witness on Sunday mornings once per month. A member of the vestry talks at each of your services during the announcements about what they do on the vestry, and about how what they do on the vestry supports the mission of the church. They also talk about how they came to be at the parish, and why they give of their time, talent and treasure. This is short – about 5 minutes, but very powerful. Teach....not only during the annual campaign but every day. Actually, if we teach and preach vision, mission and money, the annual campaign drive goes quite smoothly.
…..and Finally! Your budget should be realistic, and should be ministry- based. You need to make sure that the congregations funds and other resources are being distributed for mission. Non-profit organizations should be reporting in detail their income and expenses – full, open, consistent and honest disclosure will help develop trust and understanding in the congregation. The Rector and vestry should be scrutinizing parish expenses as well as income each month in light of the parish mission statement. If the clergy, wardens and vestry dont have a handle on exactly how money is being spent, the people in the congregation will not feel comfortable that you are meeting your fiduciary responsibility.