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Ask Pastor Chick Lane. Introductory Comments The best annual stewardship response program in the world will not rescue a bad year-round stewardship ministry.

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Presentation on theme: "Ask Pastor Chick Lane. Introductory Comments The best annual stewardship response program in the world will not rescue a bad year-round stewardship ministry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ask Pastor Chick Lane

2 Introductory Comments The best annual stewardship response program in the world will not rescue a bad year-round stewardship ministry. A good annual stewardship response program will be a vital component of a good year- round stewardship ministry.

3 Three reasons people give Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, Chapter 2

4 A belief in the mission Is the congregation able to clearly articulate its mission? Do the members know the mission? How have the members had the opportunity to participate in shaping the mission?

5 Regard for staff leadership Like it or not, in a congregation the pastor is crucial here (Senior Pastor if there is one). The importance of the basics (“Pay the rent”). Just do your job!

6 Financial stability of the institution People don’t give to sinking ships. (Ken Callahan) Don’t cry wolf. Bad news doesn’t motivate. Be careful and be transparent.

7 The Three Pockets of Giving Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate Chapter 5

8 Earned Income Regular income, however it comes Most often earned income is the source of regular giving to the congregation. In many cases it is also the source of giving to special/capital appeals. The importance of previous financial decisions on giving from earned income.

9 Accumulated Assets Savings, stock, cash value of insurance policies, property, etc. Tax law and appreciated assets Most often accumulated assets are the source of giving to special/capital appeals The possibilities of giving from accumulated assets for regular giving

10 Estate Giving Accumulated assets given at a specific time Often given to a congregation’s endowment fund. Usually a problem if it isn’t. Invite this giving on a regular basis. The message will be heard only by those thinking about estate planning at that time. Seek professional help.

11 Introductory Comments Why people give (results from a Luther Seminary research project) – I am grateful for what God has given me (92.3%) – I know that my giving will make a difference in people’s lives (86.7%) – I belong to a congregation and I want to do my part (84.2%)

12 Introductory Comments All “asks” for giving should focus on the need of the giver to give, not the need of the church to receive Don’t use a budget to ask people to give Don’t talk about “the church is a business” Don’t talk about the monthly bills Focus on the Bible Focus on the mission

13 Giving Regular Giving Capital Appeals Endowments

14 Regular giving (usually from regular income) Pledging How it can help the giver How it can help the congregation What are trends that you are seeing? Which comes first, pledging or budgeting? Is tithe a helpful word? If so, how can it be communicated as a word of grace? If not, how can we answer the question, “What is a generous gift?” Ask for growth in giving How are you intentionally asking people to grow in their giving? Encouraging regular giving from accumulated assets

15 Regular Giving Annual stewardship response program Several weeks in length Focus on scripture and the mission of the congregation Leads to an ask for growth – (personalized?)



18 As Jesus’ first disciples walked with their Lord they often found themselves listening closely as Jesus taught them and others. Walking with Jesus still means listening to Jesus teach. It is because of this that Bible study and prayer are such important parts of the walk. Jesus often taught his followers about the important relationship between faith and money. We can think of his conversation with the rich ruler and his comments to his disciples as they watched the widow place two copper coins in the temple treasury. One important teaching of Jesus is the sentence, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This is so important that it is recorded in both Matthew and Luke. These words point out that what we do with our treasure impacts our loyalties. When we give generously to something, when we place our treasure there, our heart follows. God’s people for centuries have discovered that generous giving to Christ’s church leads one’s heart to Jesus. It is almost like a mathematical formula “Growth in giving = growth in faith.” On your walk with Jesus, consider your own giving. How does your giving lead your heart to Jesus? Is your giving at a level that it does lead your heart to Jesus? Is your giving at a level that it leads your heart in other directions, and blocks your heart from coming to Jesus? These are serious questions for each of us to consider as we walk with Jesus.

19 Dear member of (NAME) Lutheran Church, Each of us is on a walk with Jesus. Every day we have the opportunity to learn from Jesus on that walk, just as his first disciples did. As we disciples walk with Jesus, Jesus wants us drawn closer to him. Jesus wants our walk always to be drawing us deeper into our relationship with him. It is because of this that Jesus talked so much about money as he walked with his first disciples. Jesus recognizes that the lure of money can erect a barrier between him and his children. He says so quite clearly in Matthew 6:24, when he says, “You cannot serve God and wealth.” Perhaps the best example of this truth in all of scripture is the story of Jesus and the rich ruler in Luke 18. Jesus asks the ruler to sell his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor and follow him. The ruler is unable to do this. His loyalty to his possessions is so strong that he cannot follow Jesus. Jesus wants you to be a generous giver. He wants this not because our church needs your money. He wants this because Jesus knows that you need to give. You need to generously give yourself and your possessions away in order that you might follow your Lord. Clinging to possessions blocks your relationship with Jesus, just as it did for the rich ruler. Giving generously to Jesus opens the way for a new and deeper level of walking with Jesus. In worship on Sunday, (month) (day), you will have the opportunity to complete your estimate of giving card indicating your plan for giving to (NAME) Lutheran Church for the coming year. Make your generous giving a part of your walk with Jesus. Sincerely,



22 Letter to non-giving members, to be printed on the congregation’s letterhead Dear member of (NAME) Lutheran Church, This past Sunday in worship many members of our congregation returned their estimate of giving cards for the coming year. It was exciting to see so many come forward to return these cards that describe their giving plans for (YEAR). I am writing to provide you with an estimate of giving card and an envelope in which you may return this to the church office. These are exciting days at (NAME) Lutheran. [Detail several aspects of the congregation’s ministry.] You membership in (NAME) Lutheran is important to the entire congregation. We value you and trust that the ministry of the congregation has provided you strength and support in your faith. Please know that you can call on me at any time. Please complete and return the enclosed card as soon as possible so that we can complete this year’s stewardship program. Sincerely, Pastor

23 Letter acknowledging receipt of estimate of giving card, to be printed on the congregation’s letterhead Dear [Member’s name], Thank you for your partnership in the gospel at (NAME) Lutheran Church. Our congregation is a blessing to many in our community, members and non-members alike. Specifically, I am writing to thank you for your estimate of giving for next year. According to our records, you have indicated that you plan to give $_________ per week/month/year. If this is not accurate, please contact me at the address or telephone number listed below. Your gifts will make a difference. [List some important ministries of the congregation, and others supported by the congregation.] Again, thanks for your support of (NAME) Lutheran Church. Sincerely, (Name) Financial Secretary (Address) (Telephone number)


25 Ecumenical Stewardship Center

26 Regular Giving “New” ways of giving Are we asking people to conform to “our” ways? Automatic withdrawal as a Biblical model of giving On-line giving Text giving Credit card/debit card giving “Twenty and thirty somethings” don’t write checks, don’t carry cash, and are wary of long term commitments. What giving mechanics might help them give generously?”

27 Capital Appeals (usually from regular income and accumulated assets) Occasional appeals The importance of clarity regarding purpose of the appeal The importance of broad buy-in Regular appeals Dealing with donor fatigue Is giving to the appeal really just givers splitting their regular giving or are you actually getting “other money” (from accumulated assets, for example)?

28 Endowments (usually from Estates) Promotion is vital Governance Documents Prevent endowment income from damaging regular giving Minimize power and control issues by board of directors

29 Reporting giving Program budgets and traditional budgets – how much detail do members need? What are we communicating with the weekly/monthly “scorecard”? Tie reports to the mission of the congregation

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