(Suggest that this information be distributed to potential stewardship team members.)
The purpose of the team: The team’s work is to encourage faith development expressed in generosity and commitment to Christ’s work in the church and beyond. This is done by:
- Determining where congregants are in terms of their use of time, talent and giving.
- Working alongside existing structures in the church (educational ministries, finance and long-range planning committees, worship committee, etc.) to develop strategies and opportunities to help develop member giving.
- Advising the church’s leadership on procedures that will encourage the stewardship of the entire congregation.
- Engaging in regular biblical study of stewardship.
- Offering regular communication to members, through newsletters and bulletins that educate and inspire others on their stewardship journey.
The stewardship team is NOT the fundraising committee. As important as it is to raise money for church ministry, the focus of the stewardship team is to encourage Christians to use their God-given gifts in ways that honor God. It may be helpful for the stewardship team to draft a mission statement defining its purpose. Here are some samples.
The makeup of the team: There should be a wide variety of people of both age and gender. Members of the team may include a deacon and an elder from the church’s governing body, an empty-nester, a recently married person, an adult single, a middle-aged person and anyone who shares an enthusiasm for giving. It is helpful if there is someone with creative skills who can develop bulletin/newsletter inserts and has good communication skills. Pastor should be an ex-officio member.
Accountability: Determination must be made to whom this team reports. Since the work of the stewardship team crosses many committee lines involving young people, adult education, Sunday School, worship, etc., it may be well for the team to report directly to the Executive or Administrative Committee of the church. Having that level of leadership of the church directly involved in over-seeing the work of the stewardship team creates visibility and a spirit of support and encouragement to the team.
Commitment: Team members should be asked to serve a pre-determined number of years, with a minimum of three years recommended. Members should be welcome to continue serving beyond that time should they wish to do so.
Continuing Education: Because individuals come with different ideas and personal experiences in the area of stewardship, it is recommended that once the stewardship team is formed, that some time be spent as a group reading and studying a few resources which will help them as they move forward. This accomplishes two goals: it heightens personal awareness of stewardship and it helps to bring everyone on the team to the same page, bonding the team together as a cohesive group. Two recommended resources are: The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn (discovering the secret of joyful giving) and Firstfruits by Robert Heerspink (a stewardship guide for church leaders).