Stewardship Development Team
Many congregations are envisioning a year-round program of congregational stewardship.
In order for year-round stewardship efforts to take root, skillful and dedicated leadership is essential. Your congregation might be considering the formation of a Stewardship Development Team to lead the way!
The function of a Stewardship Development Team is to help in guiding the development of a year-round stewardship plan for the sustained financial health and well-being of the congregation.
Ideally, this team would be composed of a range of committed people offering a range of interests and expertise, while also representing a diverse blend of age, race, gender, length of congregational membership, and so on. Though each team member should commit to serving this role for a span of several years, it is generally advisable to stagger the terms of the position in order to maintain a continuity of knowledge and experience as new team members join to contribute their energy and ideas.
In forming this team, draw up a charter and description of the roles and responsibilities to clearly define the work of the team. This may be used later to help formulate an orientation plan for new team members as terms expire. Written job descriptions should include relationships to other aspects of congregation life and leadership. The team leader may not only serve as the moderator and coordinator of the group, but who might also serve as a liaison to the other key leadership bodies.
Thought the roles and responsibilities of a Stewardship Development Team must reflect the unique culture of your congregation and be adapted to its governance structure, the following suggestions are activities that your Stewardship Development Team could undertake, comprising the basic framework of the team’s functions and responsibilities:
- Schedule regular meetings – at least one or two each year – with the minister and key lay leaders to plan stewardship activities, establish fundraising budgets, and set achievable goals.
- Gather and make available a library of stewardship resources for training and educational purposes.
- Offer leadership development programs on the subject of stewardship at least twice a year with the expectation that all members of the governing body will be present.
- Periodically offer classes on personal financial management and congregational stewardship to the larger community of your congregation.
- Integrate each of the stewardship events and activities into the congregation’s master calendar.
- Maintain a congregational history of stewardship development including baseline data on congregational membership, the operating budget, details of the fundraising efforts and expenditures, the results of these initiatives, and overall financial giving and generosity.
- Assess current congregational culture and attitudes about money and stewardship practices.
- Monitor the progress towards the twin goals of stewardship understanding and generosity to gain a sense of the congregation’s growth and maturity with regard to stewardship.
- Celebrate the team’s achievements, recognizing and thanking everyone who has contributed to the ongoing success of the congregation.
Many congregations are envisioning a year-round program of congregational stewardship. In order for year-round stewardship efforts to take root, leadership is essential. Consider the formation of a Stewardship Development Team to lead the way!