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CHURCH STEWARDSHIP SUMMIT
“Growing Church Giving in Today’s Economy
          Highland Baptist Church, Louisville

           Today’s Presenters:
            Jeff Ashley & Mark Rountree
            Dr. Joe Phelps
            Kate Bringardner
            Dr. Tom Grieb
            Hollis L Searcy
            Dr. Steve McSwain
Dr. Steve McSwain
Today’s Agenda
   – Introductions – 10:00 to 10:05
   – Presenter Steve McSwain 10:05 till 10:40
   – Presenter Joe Phelps 10:40 to 11:20
   – Brief Break 11:20 to 11:30
   – Presenter Kate Bringardner 11:30 to 12:15
   – Lunch 12:15 to 12:40 (Brief Presentation by Steve)
   – Presenter Hollis Searcy 12:45 till 1:30
   – Presenter Tom Grieb 1:35 till 2:15
   – Summit Dissmisses 2:15PM
Creating a Generous
        Congregation
       Four Questions…


1.   What’s the state of giving in today’s church?
2.   Why is giving less than it should be?
3.   What are common myths about giving?
4.   How might we create a more generous church?
1. What’s the state of giving?
               • Not what it could be but
                      better than it might be…
               • Fewer and fewer are giving
                      more and more
               • In today’s eco-climate, most
                      churches have experienced
                      a 5% to 15% decline in
                      giving
2. Why is giving less than it should be?
• A “Missing” Theology

• Fundraising as PROCLAMATION & INVITATION

• Fundraising as a call to CONVERSION
When there’s little credibility, there’s
   little GIVE-ABILITY.
• People don’t follow worthy causes; they
  follow worthy leaders.

• The leader IS the vision.

• Wrong Question: “Do you think people will
  buy into my vision?” Right question: “Do
  people buy into you?”
• If you don’t ask, you don’t get

       Information – Invitation = Informed Members

 Information + Invitation = Informed & Involved Members

Information + Invitation + Inspiration = Informed, Involved &
                      Inspired Members


                       The “3” Keys
• If you ask the same way, you get the
               same results


   Budget for New Year Approaches
   Pledge Drive Committee Appointed
   Conduct the Pledge Drive
   Complete the Pledge Drive
   Everyone Breathes a Sigh of Relief
   Report the Results of the Drive

                  Total Pledged
                  # of Pledging Households
                  Occasionally, we report “Average” Pledge
Giving in Most Churches Today



 25%                     No Giving/Token Giving $0-
                         $500
              50%        Leadership Giving $8k-up
20%
                         Faithful Giving $2k-$8k
       5%
                         Modest Giving $500-$2k
When Reporting Pledges…




If You RECOGNIZE the BEST, the BEST will MOTIVATE the REST
What’s Wrong w/this Letter?
Dear ___________:
As a pastor it has been my custom to send a financial contribution to everyone
registered in the parish.

I count on the support of our parishioners to insure the good work and the service of
the parish. Our records indicate that this past year you were not able to support the
parish. Perhaps this is due to an oversight, or changing family situations. I ask that
each of our families take seriously their obligation to assist the parish. I ask God to
bless you and your family, and I look forward to your support in this new year of
2012.

Sincerely yours,

Rev. Msgr. _______________
2. Why is giving less than it should be?

•   A “Missing” Theology.
•   If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
•   If you ask the same way, you get the same results.
•   Many feel the return isn’t worth the investment.
•   Act of giving is only rarely modeled.
•   A deficit in generosity typically means there’s a
    deficiency of grace (LUKE 7:36ff)
• Deficit in giving typically means
  there is a deficiency in grace. (see
  Luke 7:36ff)

“If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”


           “THE FORGIVEN are FOR – GIVING!”
3. What are common myths @ giving?
• Myth 1 = “Give and you’ll get rich!”

• Myth 2 = “I can’t afford to give!”

• Myth 3 = “Equal and fair share giving is enough!”

• Myth 4 = “The standard is the tithe!”

• Myth 5 = “Get them involved and they will give!”

• Myth 6 = “Giving is a private matter!”

• Myth 7 = “Test God through your giving!”
One of the More Common Myths
          @ GIVING…


               Giving should be
                done in secret.
• Giving is supposed to be done in
   secret.
            Matthew 5:16                           Matthew 6:1-4
   “Let your good deeds                      “Don’t do your good
      shine out for all to                     deeds publicly…”
            see…”
                                Matthew 6:5ff
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street
  corners and in the synagogues…But, when you pray…shut the door behind
                     you…pray to your Father in private.”

 “The higher the level of secrecy the lower the level of giving.”
 -- Michael Durall, Creating Congregations of Generous People
4. How might we create a more
    generous congregation?
• The role of the leaders.
• The necessity of asking.
• Replace the Pledge Drive with a culture of
      generosity.
• Teach generosity or growth in giving, not
      tithing.
• Tie growth in Christian giving to growth in
      Christian living.
• Know the top 20% of your giving households
      intimately and thank them frequently.
The Role of Leaders
            A More Generous Church
1. Leaders must know the culture of giving in their church.

     • The “7 to 1” Rule

     • Annual Giving Assessment

     • “3” Rules of Thumb
• The Role of Leaders.

2. Leaders must model giving.



    a. You’ll have greater respect.

    b. You’ll silence the critics.
• The Role of Leaders.
 3. Leaders must talk about giving.

 4. Leaders must reveal their giving.

 5. Leaders must know/show how the
       church’s mission and vision are
       changing lives.

 6. Leaders must know who’s giving, who isn’t,
      and who’s giving is changing.

 7. Leaders must thank the top 20% regularly.
Annual Pledge Drive
                        St. John’s Episcopal Church

   A number of our parish families are committed to giving 10% of their net
        or gross income to the church. I/we will join them. Therefore, our pledge
        for the coming year will be: $_______________.

   I/we plan to continue growing toward the objective of 10% of household
         income. For now, our pledge for the coming year will be: $_________

   I/we pledge $100 per month to the church, or $1200 for the year.__ (Check
          here if applicable).

   I/we pledge to give $________ per month to the church for a yearly total
         amount of $__________.

Name: _________________________________________ (Please Print)
Address:___________________________________ (City:________________)
Phone: ________________________Email:____________________________

Signature:________________________________________
For More Information
  Contact Dr. Steve McSwain
 Consultant Ashley/Rountree

SMcSwain@AshleyRountree.com
        502-777-9426
        502.244.5835
Giving Up in a Down Economy
1.   Think Differently
2.   Study Givers and Giving
3.   Do Your Theology
4.   Impact of Leaders
5.   Embrace Special Campaigns
6.   Decide @ Electronic Giving
7.   Prioritize Donor Relationships
8.   Agree on and Execute a Strategy
          If You and Your Church Would Like More Info Regarding
                         GIVING GROWTH COACHING
                 GIVING GROWTH WORKSHOP FOR LEADERS
                    Call Steve McSwain at 502-777-9426

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Church Stewardship Summit

  • 1. CHURCH STEWARDSHIP SUMMIT “Growing Church Giving in Today’s Economy Highland Baptist Church, Louisville Today’s Presenters:  Jeff Ashley & Mark Rountree  Dr. Joe Phelps  Kate Bringardner  Dr. Tom Grieb  Hollis L Searcy  Dr. Steve McSwain
  • 2. Dr. Steve McSwain Today’s Agenda – Introductions – 10:00 to 10:05 – Presenter Steve McSwain 10:05 till 10:40 – Presenter Joe Phelps 10:40 to 11:20 – Brief Break 11:20 to 11:30 – Presenter Kate Bringardner 11:30 to 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 to 12:40 (Brief Presentation by Steve) – Presenter Hollis Searcy 12:45 till 1:30 – Presenter Tom Grieb 1:35 till 2:15 – Summit Dissmisses 2:15PM
  • 3. Creating a Generous Congregation Four Questions… 1. What’s the state of giving in today’s church? 2. Why is giving less than it should be? 3. What are common myths about giving? 4. How might we create a more generous church?
  • 4. 1. What’s the state of giving? • Not what it could be but better than it might be… • Fewer and fewer are giving more and more • In today’s eco-climate, most churches have experienced a 5% to 15% decline in giving
  • 5. 2. Why is giving less than it should be?
  • 6. • A “Missing” Theology • Fundraising as PROCLAMATION & INVITATION • Fundraising as a call to CONVERSION
  • 7. When there’s little credibility, there’s little GIVE-ABILITY. • People don’t follow worthy causes; they follow worthy leaders. • The leader IS the vision. • Wrong Question: “Do you think people will buy into my vision?” Right question: “Do people buy into you?”
  • 8. • If you don’t ask, you don’t get Information – Invitation = Informed Members Information + Invitation = Informed & Involved Members Information + Invitation + Inspiration = Informed, Involved & Inspired Members The “3” Keys
  • 9. • If you ask the same way, you get the same results  Budget for New Year Approaches  Pledge Drive Committee Appointed  Conduct the Pledge Drive  Complete the Pledge Drive  Everyone Breathes a Sigh of Relief  Report the Results of the Drive  Total Pledged  # of Pledging Households  Occasionally, we report “Average” Pledge
  • 10. Giving in Most Churches Today 25% No Giving/Token Giving $0- $500 50% Leadership Giving $8k-up 20% Faithful Giving $2k-$8k 5% Modest Giving $500-$2k
  • 11. When Reporting Pledges… If You RECOGNIZE the BEST, the BEST will MOTIVATE the REST
  • 12. What’s Wrong w/this Letter? Dear ___________: As a pastor it has been my custom to send a financial contribution to everyone registered in the parish. I count on the support of our parishioners to insure the good work and the service of the parish. Our records indicate that this past year you were not able to support the parish. Perhaps this is due to an oversight, or changing family situations. I ask that each of our families take seriously their obligation to assist the parish. I ask God to bless you and your family, and I look forward to your support in this new year of 2012. Sincerely yours, Rev. Msgr. _______________
  • 13. 2. Why is giving less than it should be? • A “Missing” Theology. • If you don’t ask, you don’t get. • If you ask the same way, you get the same results. • Many feel the return isn’t worth the investment. • Act of giving is only rarely modeled. • A deficit in generosity typically means there’s a deficiency of grace (LUKE 7:36ff)
  • 14. • Deficit in giving typically means there is a deficiency in grace. (see Luke 7:36ff) “If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.” “THE FORGIVEN are FOR – GIVING!”
  • 15. 3. What are common myths @ giving? • Myth 1 = “Give and you’ll get rich!” • Myth 2 = “I can’t afford to give!” • Myth 3 = “Equal and fair share giving is enough!” • Myth 4 = “The standard is the tithe!” • Myth 5 = “Get them involved and they will give!” • Myth 6 = “Giving is a private matter!” • Myth 7 = “Test God through your giving!”
  • 16. One of the More Common Myths @ GIVING… Giving should be done in secret.
  • 17. • Giving is supposed to be done in secret. Matthew 5:16 Matthew 6:1-4 “Let your good deeds “Don’t do your good shine out for all to deeds publicly…” see…” Matthew 6:5ff “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues…But, when you pray…shut the door behind you…pray to your Father in private.” “The higher the level of secrecy the lower the level of giving.” -- Michael Durall, Creating Congregations of Generous People
  • 18. 4. How might we create a more generous congregation? • The role of the leaders. • The necessity of asking. • Replace the Pledge Drive with a culture of generosity. • Teach generosity or growth in giving, not tithing. • Tie growth in Christian giving to growth in Christian living. • Know the top 20% of your giving households intimately and thank them frequently.
  • 19. The Role of Leaders A More Generous Church 1. Leaders must know the culture of giving in their church. • The “7 to 1” Rule • Annual Giving Assessment • “3” Rules of Thumb
  • 20. • The Role of Leaders. 2. Leaders must model giving. a. You’ll have greater respect. b. You’ll silence the critics.
  • 21. • The Role of Leaders. 3. Leaders must talk about giving. 4. Leaders must reveal their giving. 5. Leaders must know/show how the church’s mission and vision are changing lives. 6. Leaders must know who’s giving, who isn’t, and who’s giving is changing. 7. Leaders must thank the top 20% regularly.
  • 22. Annual Pledge Drive St. John’s Episcopal Church A number of our parish families are committed to giving 10% of their net or gross income to the church. I/we will join them. Therefore, our pledge for the coming year will be: $_______________. I/we plan to continue growing toward the objective of 10% of household income. For now, our pledge for the coming year will be: $_________ I/we pledge $100 per month to the church, or $1200 for the year.__ (Check here if applicable). I/we pledge to give $________ per month to the church for a yearly total amount of $__________. Name: _________________________________________ (Please Print) Address:___________________________________ (City:________________) Phone: ________________________Email:____________________________ Signature:________________________________________
  • 23. For More Information Contact Dr. Steve McSwain Consultant Ashley/Rountree SMcSwain@AshleyRountree.com 502-777-9426 502.244.5835
  • 24. Giving Up in a Down Economy 1. Think Differently 2. Study Givers and Giving 3. Do Your Theology 4. Impact of Leaders 5. Embrace Special Campaigns 6. Decide @ Electronic Giving 7. Prioritize Donor Relationships 8. Agree on and Execute a Strategy If You and Your Church Would Like More Info Regarding GIVING GROWTH COACHING GIVING GROWTH WORKSHOP FOR LEADERS Call Steve McSwain at 502-777-9426

Editor's Notes

  1. Thank youAmerican Red Cross – “Just can’t give anything this year!”
  2. What’s the state of giving in today’s church?Not what it could be but better than it might be.Three Kinds of Giving in Most Churches…1. No Level Giving2. Low Level Giving3. Same Level GivingFewer and fewer are giving more and more.In most churches, 1/3 or the membership provide 2/3rds of the support.In today’s eco-climate most churches have experienced a 5% to 15% decline in giving since the economic crash in fall of ‘08.
  3. 2. Why is giving less than it should be?A “MISSING” Theology– you give time to what you believe is important. Stewardship of the church is the pastor’s responsibility. And, most pastors and priests, have a low theology or no theology of giving. It really isn’t taught in seminaries and, yet, so much of what Jesus taught is about how you and I are related to or possessed by our possessions. What is your “theology” of giving? It’s a bit dated now but I don’t think another book or booklet on giving has ever been produced in the 20th century more insightful and provocative than that written by Henri Nouwen entitled, “The Spirituality of Fund-Raising.” Still get copies of it at the Henri Nouwen Society www.henrinouwen.org and on Amazon. http://henrinouwen.org/Spirituality_Series/Fundraising/Fundraising.aspxFundraising as proclamation and invitationWe proclaim our mission (2 Cor. 8-9)We invite others to share in the vision (Prov. 29:18; 2 Kings 21:1-9) Nouwen writes, “When those with money and those who need money share a mission, we see a central sign of new life in the Spirit of Christ.”Fundraising as a call to conversion (Matt. 6:33-34)Conversion is a shift in how we see, think, and act (Rom. 12:2 “…the renewing of your mind…”)Conversion is coming to terms with who we really are (Lk 15:17-20 “as in the Prodigal Son who came to himself…”Conversion is the transformation of our life focus, priorities, attention (Matt. 16:23, “as in Jesus to Peter, “set your mind on the things of God” Matt 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God…”)So, I love the summary statement Nouwen makes, “As a form of ministry, fund-raising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick, or feeding the hungry. So fund-raising has to help us with our conversion too. Are we willing to be converted from our fear of asking, our anxiety about being rejected or feeling humiliated, our depression when someone says, ‘No, I’m not going to get involved in your project’? When we have gained the freedom to ask without fear, to love fund-raising as a form of ministry, then fund-raising will be good for our spiritual life.” B. When there’s little credibility, there’s little GIVE-ABILITY. C. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. D. If you ask the same way, you get the same results E. Many feel the return isn’t worth the investment. F. Act of giving only rarely modeled. G. A deficit in generosity typically means there’s a deficit in grace.
  4. A “MISSING” Theology– you give time to what you believe is important. Stewardship of the church is the pastor’s responsibility. And, most pastors and priests, have a low theology or no theology of giving. It really isn’t taught in seminaries and, yet, so much of what Jesus taught is about how you and I are related to or possessed by our possessions. What is your “theology” of giving? It’s a bit dated now but I don’t think another book or booklet on giving has ever been produced in the 20th century more insightful and provocative than that written by Henri Nouwen entitled, “The Spirituality of Fund-Raising.” Still get copies of it at the Henri Nouwen Society www.henrinouwen.org and on Amazon.Fundraising as proclamation and invitationWe proclaim our mission (2 Cor. 8-9)We invite others to share in the vision (Prov. 29:18; 2 Kings 21:1-9) Nouwen writes, “When those with money and those who need money share a mission, we see a central sign of new life in the Spirit of Christ.”Fundraising as a call to conversion (Matt. 6:33-34) – May be the most remarkable thing Nouwen writes: “Fundraising is a call to conversion.”Conversion is a shift in how we see, think, and act (Rom. 12:2 “…the renewing of your mind…”)Conversion is coming to terms with who we really are (Lk 15:17-20 “as in the Prodigal Son who came to himself…”Conversion is the transformation of our life focus, priorities, attention (Matt. 16:23, “as in Jesus to Peter, “set your mind on the things of God” Matt 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God…”)
  5. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So, this is why I love the summary statement Nouwen makes, “As a form of ministry, fund-raising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick, or feeding the hungry. So fund-raising has to help us with our conversion too. Are we willing to be converted from our fear of asking, our anxiety about being rejected or feeling humiliated, our depression when someone says, ‘No, I’m not going to get involved in your project’? When we have gained the freedom to ask without fear, to love fund-raising as a form of ministry, then fund-raising will be good for our spiritual life”(from The Spirituality of Fund-raising, by Henri Nouwen, pp. 6-7).Information – Invitation = Informed MembersInformation + Invitation = Informed & Involved MembersInformation + Invitation + Inspiration = Informed, Involved &Inspired Members
  6. If you ask the same way, you get the same results For many traditions, particularly the more liturgical traditions, it is known as “the Annual Pledge Drive” – most church leaders look forward to this about like that drunk who said on Saturday, “Darn it! It’s Saturday. I’ve got to get drunk and I’m sure not lookin’ forward to it!”Budget for New Year ApproachesPledge Drive Committee AppointedConduct the Pledge DriveComplete the Pledge DriveEveryone Breathes a Sigh of ReliefReport Results of the DriveTotal Pledged# of Pledging HouseholdsSometimes, report the Average pledgeWhat’s WRONG with this Method?
  7. Here’s what’s wrong!: This is a generalized pie chart which depicts typical giving in most churches today. So, if you report the results of your pledge drive with an “average” gift, are you not making it look as if half the congregation is giving something when, in truth, they are giving little to nothing?1. Distorts the results – the truly generous are perceived as giving less while those who give the least are viewed as giving considerably more. So, this approach leaves the truly generous unrecognized and the least generous protected.2. Patently unfair. This approach cultivates what Ashley hales describes in her book , The Lost Art of Church Fundraising, the BPATG factor—The Benevolent and Protective Association of Token Givers! This approach fosters the notion that everyone in the church is pledging about the same amount. The truth is, however, in almost all congregations one-third of the households give two-thirds or more of the total stewardship. BPATG – “The Benevolent and Protective Association of Token Givers” – Ashley Hale in The Lost Art of Church Fund-Raising. In most churches, the pledge drive is cloaked in secrecy.Is there a better way to report? Yes. Report it exactly as it is…
  8. When reporting pledges, tell the whole story. Why? 1. It’s patently more honest and patently more fair. 2. It avoids the illusion that those who give little or nothing are giving something. 3. It does not reward those who give little or nothing while diminishing those who give generously. Mick Delaney, in the business world says, “Any business or industry that pays equal rewards to its goof-offs and its eager beavers sooner or later will find itself with more goof-offs than eager beavers.” 4. It encourages growth in giving. “If you recognize the best, the best will motivate the rest.”
  9. Many feel the return isn’t worth the investment. Many churches fail to answer the one question that’s seldom asked but almost universally felt – “Why should I give anything to this church?” The day is rapidly coming to an end when the church can depend on the loyalty of its members for its financial support.Act of giving is only rarelymodeled. 90% of what we learn, we’ve learned visually. “People do as people see.” – Law of the Picture in Maxwell’s 21 Laws of Leadership. “Generosity is caught not taught.”A deficit in giving typically means there’s a deficit of grace. See Luke 7:36ff Deficiency of generosity means a deficit of grace – See Luke 7:36ff36-39One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee's house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him."  40Jesus said to him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."    "Oh? Tell me.“ Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts.Which of the two would be more grateful?“43-47Simon answered, "I suppose the one who was forgiven the most." "That's right," said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, "Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn't quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn't it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal." If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimalThe Forgiven are FOR - GIVING
  10. Giving is supposed to be done in secret. The “locus classicus” is Matt. 6:2, “And when you give alms never blow a trumpet.” Not suggesting go back to days of M. L. King, Sr. 1930’s – Ebenezer BC, Montgomery, AL. Ended longstanding tradition of secrecy surrounding stewardship – posted contributions. Made many very angry. In a sermon defending his decision to do so, M. L. King, Sr. said, “The practice of anonymous giving leads to the practice of anonymous non-giving.” (Churches – hire me, then can’t find the people who recommended church hire me – protect confidentiality, but ask pastor, “How does someone in your church get selected and appointed to serve on committee determining the spiritual direction of this church who doesn’t give?”) Bible full of examples: David in 1 Chronicles 29; Widow’s Mite; Barnabas, Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4 and 5)
  11. 4. How might we create a more generous congregation?The role of the leaders.The necessity of asking. Remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And, don’t ask the “same way” of everyone.Replace the pledge drive with a culture of generosity. You can still ask people to pledge but use a card like the sample I’ll show you in just a moment.If you do pledge, then do your pledging before you do your budgeting This way, you don’t lock yourself in to having a pledge drive at the same time every year. Teach generosity or growth in giving, but drop the emphasis on tithing.Tie growth in Christian giving to growth in Christian living. Your giving should change your living. If it doesn’t, you are not giving enough. Period.Know the top 20% of your giving households intimately and thank them frequently. Why? The best chance for increased giving is among the top 20% of your current donor base.
  12. The role of the leaders.Leaders must know the culture of giving in their church. About the giving culture, too, leaders must know the “7 to 1”Rule: that for every 5 to 7 years a giving attitude/practice has been in place, it’ll take 1 year to change it.’ In January every year, have the finance chair or business manager provide you with an annual assessment of the previous year (the first time you do this – have him/her provide it for the past 10 years). Here’s what you’ll want to know…a. The total amount given (for the previous 10 years too) b. The number of contributing households c. The membership of the church for each year d. The number of new giving households for each year e. The number of non-donors.Three Rules of Thumb…“Those who complain the loudest usually give the least-est!” So, don’t let complainers set the contribution policies in the church.” “The wealthiest members are not always the most generous members.” Just because someone has money doesn’t mean they’re giving it away. The fact is, there are reasons why they have money and sometimes it’s precisely because they’re “hoarders” not “givers.”“The ‘Least-est’ sometimes give the ‘Most-est’.” (Story of bag lady in Bowling Green)2. Leaders must model giving to the congregation. a. You’ll have greater respect and support. b. You’ll silence the critics and perpetual complainers. When a complainer knows that the pastor is among the biggest contributors and that the pastor knows about the complainers giving or, more accurately, the lack of it, guess what that does to the complainers vocal criticisms—it ENDS them.3. Leaders must talk about giving on a regular basis. Sermon Series, Testimonies of changed lives on regular basis, Mission Giving opportunities.4. Leaders should reveal their giving to the congregation.5. Leaders must know and show how the church’s vision and mission is changing lives.6. Leaders must know who’s giving, who isn’t, and who’s giving is changing (up or down). Ministers will sometimes say to me, “I don’t think I should know what people are giving.” Very often, behind that belief are two faulty assumptions… a. That the wealthiest are the most generous. They’re not, at least not always. In most churches, it’s the middle incomers and even the low incomers who are, proportionately, the most generous. b. That we don’t already show favoritism. Which of course we do. What minister does not more quickly respond to the fellow who’s admitted to the local hospital who’s at church all the time, devotes much volunteer time to the church, etc. over the guy who’s admitted who rarely shows up much more than at Christmas or Easter? No minister, of course. Nor should she or he. After all, St. Paul said, “Do good unto all, but especially those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).7. Leaders must thank the top 20% of giving households. 3 Things to Remember… 1) Know the Giving Range and the Giving Change. Know a person/household giving range, if you think it is too unspiritual to actually know what people give. And, know whenever there is a change in a person or household giving. The “Keeper of the Secrets” better known as the Treasurer can keep you posted in this regard. 2) Right the Wrong of Not Writing – Write personal letters each week to those persons/households who are among the top 20% of your giving families. For example, if you have 100 households in that group, that’s approximately two personal letters at the start of each week. Why do this? Growth in giving occurs most frequently, and most easily, among those giving already. 3) If you are pledging, Know your Pledge card. Notice this one
  13. The Role of Leaders2. Leaders must model giving to the congregation. a. You’ll have greater respect. b. You’ll silence the critics. When a complainer knows that the pastor is among the biggest contributors and that the pastor knows about the complainers giving or, more accurately, the lack of it, guess what that does to the complainers vocal criticisms—it ENDS them.
  14. 3. Leaders must talk about giving on a regular basis. Sermon Series, Testimonies of changed lives on regular basis, Mission Giving opportunities.4. Leaders should reveal their giving to the congregation.5. Leaders must know and show how the church’s vision and mission is changing lives.6. Leaders must know who’s giving, who isn’t, and who’s giving is changing (up or down). Ministers will sometimes say to me, “I don’t think I should know what people are giving.” Very often, behind that belief are TWO MYTHS… a. That the wealthiest are the most generous. They’re not, at least not always. In most churches, it’s the middle incomers and even the low incomers who are, proportionately, the most generous. b. That we don’t already show favoritism. Which of course we do. What minister does not more quickly respond to the fellow who’s admitted to the local hospital who’s at church all the time, devotes much volunteer time to the church, etc. over the guy who’s admitted who rarely shows up much more than at Christmas or Easter? No minister, of course. Nor should she or he. After all, St. Paul said, “Do good unto all, but especially those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).7. Leaders must thank the top 20% of giving households. 3 Things to Remember… 1) Know the Giving Range and the Giving Change. Know a person/household giving range, if you think it is too unspiritual to actually know what people give. And, know whenever there is a change in a person or household giving. The “Keeper of the Secrets” better known as the Treasurer can keep you posted in this regard. 2) Right the Wrong of Not Writing – Write personal letters each week to those persons/households who are among the top 20% of your giving families. For example, if you have 100 households in that group, that’s approximately two personal letters at the start of each week. Why do this? Growth in giving occurs most frequently, and most easily, among those giving already. 3) If you are pledging, Know your Pledge card. Notice this oneAnnual Pledge DriveSt. John’s Episcopal Church A number of our parish families are committed to giving 10% of their net or gross income to the church. I/we will join them. Our pledge for the coming year will, therefore, be: $_______________.  I/we plan to continue growing toward that objective one day. For now, our pledge for the coming year will be: $_________ I/we pledge $100 per month to the church, or $1200 for the year.____ (Check here if applicable). I/we pledge to give $________ per month to the church for a yearly total amount of $__________. Name: ______________________________________________ (Spell Please)Address: ____________________________________________ (City:_________________)Phone:___________________________ Email:___________________________________ Signature: _________________________________________________
  15. Giving Up in a Down EconomyHow to Know When and When Not to conduct a Financial Campaign (Annual OR Capital)…8 Best Practices for Churches…Think Differently – Does it not seem strange to you that Jesus’ favorite subject is the church’s least favorite? MoneyStudy Givers and Giving – Know the “giving culture” of your church. Have a professional fundraiser help you dissect it.Do Your Theology – What do you believe @ tithing? What does it mean “to whom much is given, much is required? Does giving a contribution with a credit card create tension w/our beliefs about debt? What about giving w/APP’s?Don’t Underestimate the Impact of Leaders – clergy and lay can not think any longer will “Do as we say but not as we do.” If you want people’s passion in the church, get their pocketbooks in the church. Most spiritual thing you can do for your church is not hold a revival, or a spiritual growth seminar, or a mission – a financial campaign. Your own passion about giving is tied to your pocketbook. The more you learn to give yourself away the happier you’ll be and the more you’ll want others to share a similar happiness.Embrace the Importance of Special Campaigns – don’t talk about giving once a year only – throughout the year pick one or two or three special ops opportunities to teach generosityDecide about Electronic Giving – more and more people paying bills on line. PriceWaterhouseCooper predicts that by 2015 digital banking will be the preferred method of banking by US citizens. What does this say about giving in the church? We are the CASHLESS culture. Not all churches will agree on what to do about this but ignoring this societal change is not an option for the church that wants growth in giving to go up instead of down.Prioritize Donor Relationships – again, colleges, libraries, arts groups, non-profit orgs are constantly cultivating, asking, thanking, reminding, informing contributors on a regular basis. We must work as hard as these other groups thanking, cultivating, asking reminding etc.Agree on and Execute a Strategy for Growth – the most important “best practice” is to do something – beyond theory and theology is execution. David Kinnaman of the Barna Group recently wrote that he was surprised by their most recent research that revealed just how few churches seem to have clearly and intentionally developed a proactive response to the economic downturn.” Churches with “best practices”…Articulate a strategy for increasing givingDecide who is responsible for implementing itRegularly measure effectiveness by monitoring the results