A congregation with a stewardship team has significantly higher giving than a congregation without such a team.

A chalk board with the word "Teamwork" on it.
Credit: Gerd Altmann / Pixabay
Published On: March 5, 2024

Research shows that when a congregation has a Stewardship Team with an annual stewardship plan and takes a lead on stewardship initiatives, it has significantly higher giving than a congregation that has no such team and no plan.

However, my experience as stewardship staff, and likely your experience in your Community of Faith, tells us that very few churches have a dedicated stewardship team AND a stewardship plan. 

Recognizing the importance of having a Stewardship Team is the first step. You need a team whose focus is on generosity as a faith practice and whose job is to inspire people to become more generously involved in your community of faith, through offering their gifts of time, talents, leadership and money.

But how do you recruit a new team if your leaders already have so much on their plate? The solution – if you are serious about making your Stewardship Team a priority – may mean letting go of some of your current work to free up the right people for the team.   

Okay, so who should you approach to be on your team? Before you reach out to anyone, brainstorm who in your community of faith would be a good fit.  When looking for Stewardship Team members, it is important to have folks who are already generous givers. These people will be able to lead by example. If your community of faith happens to have someone with experience in professional fundraising, that is a plus. Make a list, and personally speak to each person on it.

Ultimately, though, invite those people who love your church, believe in your church’s purpose and have some time to offer. You are really looking for cheerleaders, not bankers.

Once you have your team in place, the final step before sending them forth is training. That is where we can help. We offer extensive stewardship training and ongoing coaching to all communities of faith. Find out more here: Called to Be the Church: The Journey Programs.

Remember, the research says that to significantly and consistently grow giving, you need a Stewardship Team AND a plan.  The good news is, as a part of our training programs, your team will learn how to create and implement a plan that is customized for your community of faith.   

Here’s the good news in these challenging times – you can grow generosity and we are here to help you – as part of your team! 

—Rev. Roger Janes, Community of Faith Stewardship Support for First Dawn Eastern Edge, Bermuda-Nova Scotia, Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters, Nakonha:ka, Eastern Ontario Outaouais, and East Central Ontario Regions of The United Church of Canada.  

The views contained within these blogs are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of The United Church of Canada.

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