Stewardship can feel lonely, especially this time of year.
While we know that Stewardship should be a year-round practice, it's too often the reality that it gets equated with the pledge campaign, and "year-round" instead becomes hyper-focus for a month of two in the fall. And even if one, or two, church leaders feel a commitment to raising up Stewardship in the church's consciousness, without others to help, the job can feel daunting.
But how to recruit a strong Stewardship team?
You may already be familiar with TENS, The Episcopal Network for Stewardship. Many churches in the Diocese have used TENS pledge materials in the past to help flesh out their campaign materials. Great news: TENS is now providing many additional services to help its member churches more effectively raise up Stewardship year round --most recently a webinar with lots of good advice on recruiting your committee.
Pat Yankus, a member of the Diocesan Stewardship Teaching Team, reports that she attended the TENS Zoom workshop, Recruiting and Training a Stewardship Team, and she found it very helpful and full of practical advice. Some of the topics covered in the workshop:
- Role of a Stewardship Committee
- How to recruit members
- Forming your team theologically
- Dealing with pastoral challenges in Stewardship
- Goal-setting for the pledge campaign
In considering the question of how big a Stewardship Committee should be, for example: "You'll want to recruit a team that is big enough that they can reasonably reach every member of the congregation by email or phone to invite them to pledge. A reasonable case load over a four to six week campaign is about 15 households - so if you have 150 pledging units, you'll need a committee of ten."
As a member of the Diocese of Newark, you are a member of TENS, and have access to the TENS materials. You can check out this recent webinar by clicking here.
Another resource that TENS recommends is Charles Cloughen Jr.'s book, One Minute Stewardship: Creative ways to Talk about Money in Church, You will find a link to that book and others on the TENS website. Click here for a bibliography.
So, don't let your Stewardship efforts be lonely--take advantage of these resources and use some smart tips for recruiting a good Stewardship Team!
Finally, remember that the Diocesan Stewardship Teaching Team is available for small group meetings and presentations, customized to the needs of your parish. We're happy to lead a Vestry presentation, or Stewardship Committee exercise -- if you have ideas of how we might help, shoot me an email at email@example.com and we'll talk!