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Improving Stewardship, Avoiding a Capital Campaign

23 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Church Capital Campaigns

Church Development circles back on a common statistic to improve stewardship in your church.

Sometimes I’m tempted to repeat blogs because churches need to hear the same information as time goes by.

One such blog was teaching churches how to avoid doing a capital campaign: The key is to fix the lack of stewardship. I noted that this is a broad, evolving issue, but here’s something you can do to start tackling such a large topic:

One of the statistics I cite the most comes from Fidelity: They noted that the average non-volunteer annually gives $230 to non-profits (including churches), yet the average volunteer gives nearly $2,600. That’s 11 times more. Why? Because when the heart is invested the wallet naturally follows.

The problem then is that most churches can’t get most people to volunteer. Part of the issue is that most of the volunteer opportunities churches offer are perceived as having a commitment level far above what most people want to do. This includes anything that’s more than once, more than a couple of hours, and more than a light commitment.

I know. It doesn’t really sound like much work is going to get done, right?


As a result, only the most committed show up to everything in your church, but it’s time for them to reach out and invite the less committed to serve.

Serving is a strange thing. Even as someone who has seen its value in my life (and teaches it!), there are still many times I don’t want to go do it, yet when I do, I remember how God has designed us to serve and how life giving it is. However, if I’m the kind of guy who serves often and I still have this issue, what about people who haven’t showed up to experience the blessing?

That’s why we recommend doing one of these episodic volunteer opportunities once a month. Show up on a Saturday morning, eat breakfast, do some light work to bless the church (something like cleaning the kitchen), connect with people, and you’re done. Sure, you could hire someone to do a better job for less, but again, the work is not the point. You’re going after the heart.

When people see the value of volunteering—a key part of stewardship—the blessings extend to other areas of their lives and to other people around them. They’re more likely to volunteer again, too. 

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Denis Greene is the Founder and President of Church Development.  He is the author of The Stewardship SystemStewardship-Based Capital Campaigns, and How To Ask For Donations as well as numerous articles on stewardship. Denis has helped over 200 churches across the USA raise more than $200,000,000. 

A complete list of Church Development’s services (including capital campaign management and consultation, feasibility studies, and year-round stewardship ministry programming) is available here.