The Golden Ruler measures progress toward reaching your goals.
Money is only a tool
Annual church Stewardship Campaigns should energize and motivate a congregation to greater service and involvement. The mission lies in ministry – that’s why people become members – and money is the tool to make it happen.
Thus it was for First Congregational Church of Akron.
A year ago, at the end of January, 2011, the church had generated $256,000 in pledges. In this year’s campaign, at the end of January, 2012, the total had jumped to $282,000, an increase of 10.1%. How did that happen?
Full disclosure here: Golden Rule principal, Larry Becker, CFRE, is a member and chair of the campaign.
Success began with a plan of action. Intentional communications in the church newsletter, announcements in both the contemporary and traditional services and two special letters stressed how members’ contributions would enhance the church’s ministry. Emphasis was placed on service not only to the internal church family, but more importantly, also to the community beyond the church walls.
Integral to the plan – prayer. A special prayer, a call to action, was written by the campaign team, which included both lay and pastoral leadership. It was on a business card sized, laminated stock and mailed to the entire congregation. It was shared from the pulpit.
Have you noticed that money hasn’t been mentioned?
Dr. Jay Marshall Groat, First Congregational’s Senior Pastor summed it up: "It's about ministry. This was the theme of our very successful Loyalty Campaign this year. Everything we do in the church is ministry and our money exists to bring the Light of Christ into the world. Our congregation has a long healthy history of giving to ministry - not just giving money for the sake of giving money. Jesus pointed to a Roman coin and challenged people to decide what in life belongs to God. Larry did a great job in creating a process where we could communicate these basic principles to our congregation. And, not surprisingly, the congregation responded with compassion and generosity. It's about ministry."
"In doing the feasibility study you related to leaders of the church in personal interviews in a manner which showed an appreciation of the culture of the congregation and differed in a very positive way from some other fundraising consultants who have worked with the church in the past."
- Jim Burkholder, Co-Chair, Faith for Tomorrow Faith United Methodist Church