Steward Leadership: Worship as a Value Proposition

Posted by Matthew Thomas

Steward Leaders of faith-based non-profits and churches have a value proposition in their portfolio in addition to the three we previously discussed (here, here and here): worship. As Mark Vincent describes in “Stewardship Manifest”, page 4:

Worship “is a stewardship rooted in an experience with grace that branches out into a worshipful response.”

(You can get the Stewardship Manifest by clicking the button below).

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matthew-thomas-2When we propose that the organization, cause, or church that we steward is a means for those who have received God’s grace and become a part of his greater work to respond in worship demonstrates significant value in our organization. This value proposition now connects what we do with the most sacred things people encounter, and connects the organization with the broad sweep of salvation history.

Creating this kind of value proposition requires that Steward Leaders do not assign sacrosanctity to all of their own actions and those of their organization. This kind of value proposition increases the accountability requirements, since now everything the organization does occurs directly in God’s name. This is a significant challenge. Churches and faith-based non-profits must balance between questioning motivation too much and not questioning it enough in order to maintain organizational health. At times, it seems that donors to churches want to keep some of the veil up between their gifts and the actual expenditures on payroll, programs and payables, so as to help them maintain the sacred distance between their gift and its use. Other donors seem to have no use for the worship motivation and want to see every penny used as they want it to be. This does not typically reflect a worship attitude.

Worship is a highly valuable proposition for an organization, but it has its challenges.

Do you offer worship as a value proposition for your organization? How do you manage the challenges?

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Topics: Matthew Thomas, steward leader, Worship

Steward Leadership in Churches: Battling the (Financial) Summer Slump

Posted by Matthew Thomas

Most pastors I talk to confirm my own pastoral experience that attendance is usually lowest immediately after large holidays and throughout the Memorial Day - Labor Day summer months.

While it is disappointing to many pastors that people just aren't as interested in church at those times, they and their church boards often find themselves at increased stress financially because of the lower attendance:

People who aren't present don't tend to give.

For most churches, worship is the context of most of our giving, and for many churches, giving is itself an act of worship. When there are fewer worshippers, giving tends to decline.

Steward Leaders don't want to take the slump sitting down, though, and they are looking for ways around it and through it.

I would like to recommend four things to help combat the summer slump financially:

1. Prepare: Design your church budget around making sure you have a surplus in the better-attended months, so that you have some room to drop during the summer. This will help to improve cash flow no matter what else you do.

2. Educate: Remind the congregation that the work of ministry continues on even without them, and that their offerings provide value to that work.

3. Provide: Create opportunities to give outside the context of worship during the summer. People may miss weekends, but weekday events often still can draw people who take long weekends away. Make sure good, contextualized giving can happen there.

4. Innovate: If your church doesn't already take card payments, set up your church with that capacity, if it fits your target audience. Most card payment arrangements can be set to recur - so that whether at home or away, people who give by debit card or bank draft can continue steady, regular giving.

If you would like help implementing these options, we can begin to assist your organization by providing a organizational financial health assessment. Click the link below to begin yours today!

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Topics: Matthew Thomas, Design Group International, steward leader, Giving, Offering, Worship