If you are getting ready to launch your fall church stewardship campaign, here are a few ways to make it easier. (And if you do it in the spring, save this article in a place you’ll find it then.)
Write a purpose statement.
You can do this even if you are almost ready to go, based on the work you’ve done so far. It will help you execute what you’ve planned. “The purpose of our stewardship program this year is…” It could be: encourage tithing, focus on new givers, increase giving so we can add a staff person, highlight mission giving. It will be much easier to decide what to include and what to leave out. And it will be easier to evaluate after. (You are going to evaluate, right?)
Don’t waste energy wishing you’d started earlier.
Sure, earlier planning is better, but regret doesn’t get you any closer to your goals, and it takes a lot of energy. Just do what you can now, and mark your calendar for next year.
Don’t be defensive.
You don’t need to apologize (even in attitude) for asking people to support God’s work in the world. Ask your most generous givers – they know the joy of giving. If you can free yourself from that sense of apology, you’ll find the whole process easier. I’ve said it before: asking people to give is a ministry to them.
Let go of the outcome.
Of course, having a clear goal is important, both for dollars and for households. And it’s exciting to reach a goal and disappointing to fall short. However, people make giving decisions for a whole range of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with you and your team. Do all you can, and leave the rest up to God.
This is a variation on #4. And a corollary is: ask your prayerful folks to pray for the campaign. View this as a spiritual process, get spiritual support, and you’ll find it easier.
And here’s another post on what you can celebrate about stewardship.