Stewardship Resource

Fall Stewardship Emphasis Begins in February

Happening  Happening

Augustana Lutheran Church n West St. Paul is known as a congregation which is a ridiculously generous congregation.  A part of the reason is history of strong pastoral stewardship leadership and a very intentional annual plan to prepare and invite people to respond.  Their fall stewardship emphasis at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul, MN begins in February.   Here are notes from the PowerPoint presentation.

Fall Stewardship Emphasis Begins in February
Carla Pfeifer is the Communications Coordinator at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, MN.

These are notes from a PowerPoint presentation at the 2008 Talk -- Walk -- Lead: Equipping Stewardship Leaders for the 21st Century Church.

You can download the presentation itself. Because of the size of the presentation, it is broken into three parts.  Once you have downloaded them, you may choose to join together for your purposes.
Stewardship Emphasis at Augustana Part 1
Stewardship Emphasis  at Augustana Part 2
Stewardship Emphasis at Augustana Part 3

Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul is known as a congregation which is a ridiculously generous congregation.  A part of the reason is history of strong pastoral stewardship leadership and a very intentional annual plan to prepare and invite people to respond.  Their fall stewardship emphasis at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul, MN begins in February.   Here are notes from the PowerPoint  presentation.  

1. Stewardship 2008
Mark Aune (Senior Pastor at Augustana) has discussed the theology, leadership and atmosphere that needs to be in place for a successful campaign. I'd like to spend the next hour talking about how to start planning your 2008 campaign. Our goal is for you to walk out of here with a head start on your fall campaign. So let's get started!

2. This slide is basically your "stewardship to do list" and we'll discuss each bullet in detail throughout the presentation. These don't necessarily have to happen in this order, but they all need to happen.
 Craft your stewardship vision statement
 Leadership (Pastor, Stewardship Committee, staff)
 Choose your communication/response method
 Set your stewardship goals
 Prepare a budget for stewardship campaign expenses
 Choose a Bible verse that will serve as your theme
 Create an image/graphic
 Plan Sundays/special events
 Determine number of mailings and content
 Create a timeline
 Design promotional pieces and mailings
 Follow up

3. Craft Your Stewardship Vision
A vision statement helps define who you are as a church and gives your members something to grasp on to, something to support, something to be excited about.

 Augustana continues to be "ridiculously generous" place
 Help God's people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the use of the time, talents, and finances God has entrusted to them. (From Ask, Thank, Tell by Charles R. Lane)

4. Leadership
Leadership from the pastor, committee and staff is essential. Each year a post card is handed  out to staff this year with stewardship verse. Involving the staff is key as you need their input about ministry, photos, and statistics.
 Pastor
 The committee
  -- Mix of age groups and gender
  -- Workers -- there's a lot to do!
  -- Graphic design expertise is a plus
  -- Marketing expertise is a plus
  -- Good communicators
 Staff/lay leaders (involve them early & often)

5. Choose Communication/Response Method
For more information about different methods go to Financial Response Methods /i>

Method:  Every Member Visit
Most effective in congregations between 50 and 400 households

  • Advantages:
  • Deepens relationships within the congregation
  • Allows in-depth dialog with members
  • Provides opportunity for one on one education
  • Provides the highest level of financial response

  • Disadvantages:
  • Requires a significant number of people to visit
  • Need to train visitors to make calls on members

Program Option: ELCA --  [Smart Living:  Let the Word of Christ Dwell in You Richly]

Method: Consecration Sunday Works well in any size congregation

  • Advantages:
  • Occurs during the natural rhythm of the congregation
  • Requires fewer volunteers

  • Disadvantages:
  • Much needed organization
  • Cost for supplies, outside leader and meals
  • Minimal benefit for non-worshippers

Program Option: ELCA --[Where your Heart Is]

Method: Cottage Meetings
Works well in any size congregation

  • Advantages:
  • Good opportunity for informal dialog about mission and ministry
  • Provides opportunity for education and interpretation

  • Disadvantages:
  • Need to select and train presenters
  • Need to invite members and serve food

Program Option: ELCA We Say Yes!

Method: Fellowship Meal Or Dessert And Coffee
Works best in small size or rural congregations

  • Advantages:
  • Comfortable setting for talking about mission and ministry
  • Provides some opportunity for education and interpretation
  • Opportunity for dialog
  • Does not require training

  • Disadvantages:
  • Provides average response
  • Some cost for food

Program Option: ELCA --[Legacy: That Your Faith May Live]

Method: Relay Response
Works best in congregations where members live geographically close to one another

  • Advantages:
  • Easy to plan and execute
  • Produces better response than temple talks or letters
  • Requires few people to plan
  • Involves entire congregation in implementation (could also be disadvantage)

  • Disadvantages:
  • Requires close monitoring
  • Some training of leadership

Program Option: Giving Magazine

Method: Temple Talks

  • Advantages:
  • Better response than letters
  • No Cost
  • People like to hear others stories

  • Disadvantages:
  • Only reaches those at worship
  • Limited response

Method: Letter Campaign

  • Advantages:
  • Easy, minimal cost
  • Reaches less active members

  • Disadvantages:
  • Generates only minimal response
  • Allows for very limited education and interpretation

6. Set Your Stewardship Goals
Setting goals is always a bit tricky because people want to know the target amount we need. Carefully consider the pros and cons of setting a target budget.  There are options.

 To set, or not to set, that is the question! Should you set and communicate a target budget amount?
 Our goals include:
   - Increasing the number of participants by 10 %
   - Encouraging members to increase their giving by
     1 % of household income, as a step toward tithing  
     (encourage growth in giving)
  - Increasing the use of automated giving by
    10 % (encourage first fruits giving)

7. Prepare Your Stewardship Committee Budget
There a lot of expenses associated with the campaign and you need a budget, There are printing/design costs, food costs, decorations etc. Our stewardship budget for 2008 is 12,000 or .76 of 1 percent
 Stewardship expenses are a dedicated line item in general budget
 Stewardship materials need to be well done and professional
 Many organizations are competing for your member's dollars, your information needs to stand out

8. Choose a verse to serve as your theme
Pastor selects Bible Verse.
We used this 5 years ago and people still remember the verse and the gloves we handed out

  • You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.  Psalm 145:16

The theme of sharing was a very easy theme to work with and design pieces around

  • God provides every blessing in abundance. So that by always having enough of everything you may share abundantly in every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8

This year we started backwards and wanted to explore using a year-long calendar theme and came up with this.

  • My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you.  Proverbs 3:1-2

This was an easy theme to work with contrasting dead and flourishing

  • A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree. Proverbs 11:28

We chose this verse because of the renewal theme, just finishing our centennial theme of remember - rejoice -- renew.

  • . . . Be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God. Romans 12:2

We chose this theme because our focus with the new building is giving people the opportunity to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe if people's relationship grows, increased stewardship will be a natural outcome

  • You are rich in everything--in faith, in speaking, in knowledge, in truly wanting to help, and in the love you have learned from us. In the same way, be strong also in the grace of giving.  2 Corinthians 8:7

9. Create image/graphic
A graphic will illustrate your theme and serve as a visual reminder. Things to keep in mind when creating a graphic include:
 Personal to your church
 Unique font and display of words
 Clip art (,
 Photo
 Graphic Designer
 See Graphic Examples of these themes
 Open Your Hands
 Share Every Gift in Abundance
 365 Days of Being Good Stewards
 God-Shaped Life is a Flourishing Tree
 Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Minds
 You Are Rich in Everything

10. Plan Sundays/special events
The Sundays during your campaign are critical to the success of your campaign and need to be well planned and thought out. You want people to be in worship to hear the message, so you need to make the experience memorable. Julie M. will speak more in depth about the stewardship fair, time and talent inventories and incorporate into new member process

 Speakers for Sunday mornings
 First Sunday - Lay person
 Second Sunday -- Mission recipient
 Third Sunday -- Guest preacher
 Leadership Dinner
 Stewardship Fair
 Involve Children & Youth Ministry
 Special music
 Bulletin covers and inserts
 Gift for turning in completed commitment card

11. Prepare a Timeline
If you don't walk away with anything else from this session, I hope you will use a timeline to help you with your planning. Our staff would be lost without this tool.
(See PowerPoint)

12.Determine the Number of Mailings and Content
 Mailing

13. Develop Central Message/Content
The message can come from a variety of sources. Some verses lend themselves to a particular message. You will want to highlight the "difference" your financial support means to your community and your church. Do you want a component of education? Let's look at how different types of information can be presented.
 Main theme(s)?  What info do you want to communicate?
 Educate based on Biblical based stewardship
 Highlight mission work
 How will you get the information?
 Present in easy-to-read format
 Challenge members
 Be creative
 Communicate with photos of church activities
 Communicate with facts and numbers
 Communicate with bullets
 Use interesting and unique display of numbers and text
 Collect information from many resources: books, websites, other churches
 Challenge your reader
 Make it interactive

14. Other Ways To Promote Stewardship
 Newsletter -- Mission of the Month
 Bulletin
 Website
 Posters
 New member dinner
 Visual display in Narthex

15. Follow Up
 Thank you note from Pastor
 Sorry you were missed letter
 Publish results in newsletter/bulletin

16. Evaluate the Campaign
 Gather feedback -- committee survey 3 to 5 church members
 Did you meet your goals?
 Analyze the numbers
 Did amount of participants increase/decrease (why or why not)
 Did dollars increase/decrease (why or why not)
 Did average pledge increase/decrease (why or why not)
 Giving trends by age groups
 Pastor receives "change in giving status" report

17. Stewardship -- moving forward  -- a work in progress
 12 month stewardship plan
 One size may not fit all (different messages for different demographics or same message presented differently)
 How to better utilize technology

18. Resources
 CD containing sample brochures, intro and follow-up letters, commitment cards, sermons, etc.
Ask, Thank, Tell by Charles R. Lane)  [The Spirituality of Fund-Raising] by Henri J. M Nouwen  [Stories to Tell, Gifts to Share] from the ELCA  [Stepping Stones of the Steward,] A Faith Journey through Jesus'Parables by Ronald E. Vallet  [Creating Congregations of Generous People], Ablan Institute
101 Simple Service Projects Kids Can Do by Susan L. Lingo.

Stewardship Sermons from Augustana:

Find More Stewardship Resources