Plan, Prepare now for Stewardship Season

June 15, 2022 by Joseph Moore

It is rafting season in Colorado. As the mountain snow begins to melt, the streams that provide our arid state with water quickly transform from little babbling brooks into muddy raging rivers. A few days ago I took a new friend down the river near my house. He hadn’t done a lot of white-water rafting, so I went over what we would need to do if the boat became stuck on a rock, or if one of us fell out.

After our little pre-trip briefing, my new friend mentioned to me that he was a retired Marine and he appreciated the planning that went into our little trip. He told me that, from their very first days in boot camp, Marines learn about the 7p’s. Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. (I’ve only included 6p’s as one of the 7p’s is mildly profane).

I wasn’t a Marine, and as much as I want to embrace spontaneity, I see the importance of proper planning and preparation. Having three children certainly taught my wife and me that planning matters. We quickly realized that it wasn’t smart to leave the house with a toddler without some amount of planning: snacks, and diapers, and various types of entertainment needed to be accounted for. Planning ahead makes for a better trip, on a river, in the Marine Corps, or to the grocery store with a toddler.

When my new rafting friend shared the 7p’s with me, I almost immediately thought about church stewardship campaigns. Proper planning makes all the difference. And, while I know that the summer season can be a gift to churches in the sense that things slow down and committees might meet a little less often, now is the time to plan for a successful fall stewardship campaign. Proper planning doesn’t guarantee positive performance, but poor planning almost always guarantees poor performance.

A few summer planning suggestions:

  1. Check out the Presbyterian Foundation’s Stewardship Navigator. This is a one-stop resource for different stewardship campaigns, best practices, and year-round stewardship calendars. You can register for free at www.stewardshipnavigator.org.
  2. Assemble your team. If you haven’t explored the make-up of your stewardship/generosity team, now is the time. What gifts and areas of church life do you want represented on your team? How many people should be on the team? Recruit them now so they’re ready to serve before the Fall.
  3. Expand your giving options. Do you have the ability for members and visitors to make gifts online? The Foundation has the lowest cost online giving platform around. You can learn more at presbyterianfoundation.org/onlinegiving. Set up your online giving platform now so that you’re ready once we get to the Fall!

Talk with your Ministry Relations Officer (MRO). Every church in the PC(USA) has a field staff member assigned to serve your church. Our job is to serve as a resource as you create cultures of generosity in your congregations. Please don’t wait until October to reach out to us. Successful Fall campaigns begin in the Summer! You can find your MRO here. It wasn’t just the Marines who came up with the 7p’s. Proverbs 21:5 reminds us that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.” The Presbyterian Foundation is grateful to serve the Church as together we plan and respond to the future God has in store. Bless you, as you lead in your context. Remember that you have a partner as you plan ahead!

Rev. Joseph Moore serves as the Ministry Relations Officer for the South Central Region. He works with congregations to create a culture of generosity, offers seminars and workshops, develops gifts and fundraising plans for ministries, and provides coaching to finance, stewardship and endowment committees. You can reach him at joseph.moore@presbyterianfoundation.org.