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Stewardship

19 Jul. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

How Much Pledging Increases Giving

Church Development covers the value of pledging, statistics on how annual pledge campaigns increase giving for different denominations, and how pledging can be tailored to younger congregants who may be opposed to the commitment.  

In the last blog, I noted that the number one reason charities don’t receive financial support is because they don’t ask for it. In the same way, churches need to make asking a part of their stewardship model. However, as many have experienced hard-sell and guilt-driven tactics, they’re often unsure of how to ask without the pressure. One of the simplest ways to do this is with pledging (having your congregation individually write out how much they intend to give over the coming year).

For those of you who have already instituted pledging in your church, the following statistic should be encouraging:

Gallup Polling on increases in giving after instituting an annual pledge campaign found that:

17 Jul. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

The Number One Reason Charities Don’t Receive Financial Support

By Giovanni Giuseppe Nicosia derivative work: Alex_brollo Talk (Cinesi,_scuola_e_matematica.pdf) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development covers the top reason why charities don’t receive financial support and applies that same standard to churches.

Although I’ve had numerous blogs on the importance of talking about stewardship—and how the Catholic Church’s overall practice of not talking about stewardship has resulted in their congregants, on average, giving 45% less of their income than major Protestant denominations—I haven’t covered one of the most important aspects of stewardship: Asking.

12 Jun. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Bishop Morneau’s Closing Stewardship Insight

Ron Shirt [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development shares a final statement from Bishop Robert F. Morneau—a stewardship expert from Green Bay, Wisconsin—on the value of stewardship.

My last two posts contained significant stewardship insights from Bishop Robert F. Morneau:

In wrapping this series, I wanted to share a final word from Bishop Morneau on the transformation he went through after reading Stewardship: A Disciples Response (PDF warning). It shouldn’t be a surprise that a stewardship expert had it touch his own life first (as we cannot give anything unless God first gives it to us), but it’s still encouraging to hear these words. Here’s his concluding statement from his keynote address at the International Catholic Stewardship Conference:

7 Jun. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Bishop Morneau's Four Keys for Parishes to Embrace Stewardship

Church Development shares insights from Bishop Robert F. Morneau—a stewardship expert from Green Bay, Wisconsin—on how parishes make the transition to embracing stewardship.
 
Last time, I shared five insights from Bishop Robert F. Morneau on what transforms people into deliberate stewards. In following up with Bishop Morneau on what percent of parishes he’s observed truly embracing stewardship, he reflected for a moment and estimated 10%-15%.
 
Of course I wanted to know how that 10-15% made the transformation to really grasping stewardship. Again, he had a very specific list:
5 Jun. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Bishop Morneau's Five Keys to Deliberate Stewardship

By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development shares five stewardship insights from Bishop Robert F. Morneau—a stewardship expert from Green Bay, Wisconsin—on what transforms people into deliberate stewards.

If there’s a rock star of the stewardship world, it’s this guy: Bishop Robert F. Morneau of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

(Yes, that does link to his Wikipedia page. He’s got a number of books, too.)

Bishop Morneau’s keynote address at the International Catholic Stewardship Conference was marked with a standing ovation. I had the good fortune of asking him what factors come into play in transforming a person from a casual buck-in-the-basket contributor to a deliberate steward. Here is his verbatim list:

29 May. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

The Giving Power of Welcoming Ministries and New Member Receptions

By Ernesto Perales Soto from Irapuato, Gto, Mexico (Smile!) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development breaks down how much an active welcoming ministry and a regular new member reception increase giving averages.

Every church seems to have one. That one person on the welcoming team who always has a great smile on and never seems to have a bad day (at least not on Sunday mornings). This person seems to energize the welcoming team and does a great job at helping visitors and regulars alike feel welcome. The impact on giving? According to Charles E. Zech’s Best Practices in Parish Stewardship:

22 May. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

On Community: Foyer Size in Modern-Day Churches

Church Development shares how increased foyer size is reflective of the need for community.

By Emw (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” ~1 Corinthians 12:24b-27 (NIV)

In my last post, I paused on the idea that there may be more need for the social aspect that churches (hopefully) bring than ever before. One statistic that I believe reflects this is the increase in church foyer size in recent years.

Can you fill in the blank? Church architects now recommend that the foyer size should now be __% of the worship space size.

The answer:

17 May. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

On Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone

In today’s blog, Church Development notes how there might be more of a need for the social aspect of the church than in years past.

I remember logging onto my email account years ago and reading the headline, “New Study Finds That Real Friends are Closer Than Online Friends.” I immediately started laughing, because we don’t really need a study to tell us that obvious truth, do we?

Well, unfortunately, as a society we do.

By Stefan Grazer (Grazersoft GmbH) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsMaybe it’s just the ease of technology or a number of changing social factors, but most people would agree we support an isolationist culture. You can go to school online, work online, date online—none of which requires interacting in-person. Don’t get me wrong; my smartphone is a lifesaver when I’m on the go, but if I didn’t have anyone who could literally get in my face, I’d be in big trouble.

Robert D. Putnam felt the same way. In 1995 he wrote an article called “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital”—centered on the notion that the number of people bowling had gone up, yet the number of those bowling in leagues had gone down. Five years later, Putnam put out a 500+ page book expanding on the same topic. The bottom line:

10 May. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

List of Forums to Invite Shared Decision Making

Church Development shares some potential forums to invite your church into shared decision making.

In wrapping this series on the importance of involving your church in decision making, I wanted to share some common forums we recommend to embrace this process:

1. Town Hall Meetings

The easiest time and place to hold a town hall meeting to discuss where you’re heading as a church is in your worship space right after service. Put the event in your announcements a couple weeks ahead of time, then promote it the Sunday of, that right after church you’ll have a 15-30 minute town hall meeting on the church’s present state and future goals. 

I’ll let you know now that 50% of your church will bolt for the door, but for the ones that stay, it’s important to have a basic agenda with lots of room to receive comments. I recommend that someone take notes on a notepad easel. Pass around a microphone, guide people along if need be, and, pastors, close with something along the lines of, “Thanks for staying and sharing your opinions on where you’d like to ahead as a church. This isn’t a democracy, but we value your views.”

8 May. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Addressing Pastor Concerns Over Shared Decision Making

Church Development addresses pastor concerns in involving the congregation in decision making and shares a few more statistics on the giving levels of participative and non-participative churches.

I’ve been covering the importance of involving your congregation in decision making, but there’s one important aspect I haven’t addressed: Many pastors are reluctant to open up decision making without restrictions.

By Christopher Snape (Christopher Snape) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsAnd really, can you blame them? If there’s one thing we can conclude about the historical church it’s this: The church argues and divides over seemingly just about anything. Don’t believe me? A pastor once told me that someone left his church because of the lighting. It wasn’t an issue of eye sensitivity or that the church was putting evil subliminal messages in the light colors; this person just didn’t like the lighting and then left the church over the issue.

Yeah.

So if the church argues about so many things, you can see why your average pastor wouldn’t want to open up to that level of punishment. Given the demographics of this blog, you might even be that average pastor, so I’m going to spend the rest of this blog talking to you.

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