The Stewardship Committee activities are summed up in the title of the book by Charles Lane: Ask, Thank, Tell.
If you have attended worship at Zion in October or November you are probably familiar with the “Ask.” We call this the “Fall Stewardship Emphasis.” We devote from three to six Sundays with sermons, handouts and announcements based on the year’s stewardship theme. This is the highest visibility activities of the committee. You’ve seen me and other members of the committee try our skills at public speaking. We’ve spent months crafting the theme, handouts and content. We also have relied on the talent and hard work of staff to help get the message to you. Without their efforts we just wouldn’t be able to have a “Fall Stewardship Emphasis” at all. Often we get the confirmation students, and/or other volunteers to help with the assembly of the stewardship packets that get mailed to the entire congregation. If we have done the “Ask” correctly you understand giving is meant to be: Planned, Proportionate, Percentage.
Once the “Ask” has been completed we analyze the results (the submitted estimate of giving cards) and present the results to the congregation and church council. Ideally we would have results in time for the church council budget discussion, but the reality is that the fall stewardship emphasis takes place at the same time that council is determining next year’s budget. Typically results of the fall stewardship emphasis are not complete until after the budget gets voted on at the congregational meeting in December. We are excited about the new analysis metrics we are developing that may give insight on giving projections that could help in future budget discussions.
I am amazed at the generosity of people of Zion Lutheran Church. Whenever I am asked to speak to the congregation I like to extend my personal thanks. The “Thank” activities of the stewardship committee are often included in our fall stewardship emphasis. Zion also sends giving statements three times a year and we include a thank you as part of the letters. The stewardship committee could and should make greater efforts in the “Thank” messages to the congregation, you deserve it.
The Stewardship Committee works year ‘round on the “Tell” objective. Each month we strive to have an article in Zion’s Connect newsletter. In nearly every Sunday bulletin we write a stewardship Question and Answer related to the subject of stewardship. We won’t run out of things to say about stewardship any time soon but this is an area where we would like to feature other ministries too. We would like to tell the success stories of any and all the ministries at Zion. When we tell others about the great, exciting things going on at church they will want to volunteer their time, talents and dollars to make these ministries even more successful. We would like to tell your stories too. How has giving blessed your life? Your story may help others at Zion mature as Christians.
The Stewardship Committee is looking for two types of new recruits. Christians that are strong in faith and can help others mature in stewardship are welcome. Christians that know that stewardship is an area that they could grow in are welcome too. That was my calling to the stewardship committee. We meet at 5:30 on the third Tuesday of each month (except July), there’s a seat waiting for you.