Often, stewardship is viewed as the effective use of tithes that have been contributed to a church. While this is certainly true, there is so much more to being a good steward than just properly handling member donations. Churches can be considered lessees of the property, relationships, talents and even time of others. If those resources are squandered, members begin to lose faith in how their church manages its assets. If this happens, it can be difficult to get members to support your ministry efforts.
Using staff wisely is also a struggle for many churches. There are many routine responsibilities causing staff to waste time that could be used to propel the ministry in other areas. Not to worry though, there are ways to optimize the use of resources used in the church.
According to the authors of the ministry guide “Setting the Stage for Good Stewardship,” by making some changes, you can save money and time and effectively apply it to your ministry.
“Knowing how to use money efficiently is one of the biggest challenges in the church. However, there are different ways to provide those who create your church budget with more information so they can reduce unnecessary spending, raise money within the congregation and make wiser budget decisions,” said the authors of “Setting the Stage of Good Stewardship.” “In addition, there are different ways that staff members can also effectively utilize online tools to meet the needs of members and continue being good stewards of the church.”
The Difference Between Success and Failure is Change
In most cases, the difference between success and failure in a church is one or two decisions, some which might, in the moment, seem pretty trivial. However, making decisions now about how to best use your church’s resources is what sets congregations apart from those who neglect their assets. The easiest way to make those decisions is by having all the necessary information readily available.
Contributing to the Church (Financial Growth)
One of the base needs of a church is faithful tithing. Churches rely on members to give wholeheartedly, and being a faithful steward means making the most of every dollar contributed. However, the days of bringing cash or checks to church are days of a bygone era. With the use of technology increasing in everyday life, what are church administrators doing to keep donations coming into the church?
“We’ve seen that they (church administrators) use experience and the latest technology to focus their efforts in the right places. Using online giving (and mobile giving) churches are able to drastically change their giving time frame, for the better,” said the authors of “Setting the Stage of Good Stewardship.” “Members’ giving opportunities used to only be on Sunday mornings during worship, but online giving has shifted those opportunities to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If a member misses a church service due to sickness or vacation, his or her automatic recurring giving will still be donated to the church.”
Additional Contributions Options
For many churches that use a ChMS software, remote deposit capture and check processing machines make for easier processing by church staff, guaranteeing accuracy and completing a full audit trail of processing gifts from tellers, to contribution posting, to bank, to general ledger. In reality, it provides a more fluid system that cuts down on chances of error, or worse, embezzlement. Churches that utilize certain ChMS solutions have the ability to quickly add a link to their website, which allows non-members (or members who do not yet have an account) to give on the church website. These gifts can then be automatically processed.
But, giving doesn’t stop at just monetary gifts. Members can donate non-cash and in-kind gifts like jewelry, gift cards and electronics.
“Nearly anything of value can be donated and funds go to the specific areas of your church where it is most needed. The best part is, there is no added work for staff,” said the authors of “Setting the Stage for Good Stewardship.” “For larger items like a car for example, the great thing is that church staff never have to get involved with disposing of the gift. They simply provide the link to the donator and once the items are processed, the funds are mailed directly to the church within a matter of days. It’s just one more way online giving through a ChMS can make your church an active steward of the ministry.”
The Administrative Side of Giving
We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule. And if your ministry is like most organizations, it surely applies, with approximately 80 percent of the contributions coming from 20 percent of members. If this rule applies to your ministry, you could use the information provided by a ChMS to see who is giving generously and who is not. With some ChMS’s you have the ability to track giving information, allowing church leaders to answer questions such as:
- Who is giving at what levels?
- When are the peak months for giving and when do offerings decrease?
- How can online giving be used to reach our overall stewardship goals?
- What other participation trends can be identified to help increase online giving?
But stewardship is not just about giving. The complementary component is people.
Effectively Using Church Committees and Volunteers (Connecting People)
According to the authors of “Setting the Stage for Good Stewardship,” within ChMS solutions, you might find a few ways to communicate with others. In some, church committees will be able to communicate privately among one another in their group, with other leaders, or to the congregation as a whole. When church staff actively communicate with members, especially at larger churches, this alleviates the rift between members and leadership, including committees.
Communication is the tool that allows all members, staff and otherwise, to work together to facilitate the mission of your ministry. There are currently tools within the marketplace that allow leading ChMS solutions to interface with the top community networking platform to bring ministries the best of both worlds.
It’s rare that church committees will work completely independent from each other.
The stewardship committee may focus more efforts on the congregation’s need, it doesn’t mean that the finance committee is only concerned with cash on hand.
“For example, one goal for the stewardship committee may be to develop and carry out plans to raise enough income to support a particular budget,” said the authors of “Setting the Stage for Good Stewardship.” “This can be accomplished by the stewardship and finance committees working together to achieve a common goal. However, this goal can only be met with the help of the congregation and community.”
In short, when committees work together to achieve a common goal, the church can save time, energy and resources through each committee’s efforts.
Let Us Help You Become Better Stewards
As your church learns to operate more efficiently, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish when valuable resources are used at the church’s disposal. By applying these solutions, the church will be able to pursue better stewardship goals and create new growth opportunities. To learn more, download “Setting the Stage for Good Stewardship” today.
You can also learn more by visiting www.acstechnologies.com.