Accessibility becoming a key concern

For churches built before the 1960s, accessibility was not a top concern. We have seen some church facilities that have six or more elevations, with no accessible way to move from one to the other. Often, the only way to address the issue is through a capital campaign.

Rockford church hosts "Burn the Mortgage" service

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Rockford, IL, recently paid off their mortgage. This represents the first time in 75 years that the church has been debt-free. A two-year fundraising program (capital campaign?) raised $273,000 and helped put the congregation over the top regarding its mortgage. The original story is here. According to the Annual Report for 2017, … Read More

The Math behind the Cost of Donating

Back to the article – Tax and the Church: Will the New Tax Law Affect Stewardship? For 2017, the highest marginal tax is 39.6 percent. Any money that a family makes over $470,700 (married filing jointly) will be taxed at that rate. A $1,000 charitable donation will reduce their taxable income, providing a $396 dollar tax reduction. At the new top … Read More

Stewardship Seeds, November 16, 2017

StewardNet  Significant numbers of people are profoundly hurting, people are spending money to find ideas to make life better, and larger percentages look at organized religion and conclude it doesn’t have anything to offer, or isn’t worth the effort. How can that be? When Enough Isn’t Enough Giving to others is a blessing to the giver. It pays back massive … Read More

Arlington Presbyterian Church creates ‘sacred public space’

The ongoing story of Arlington Presbyterian Church. To summarize so far, APC revisioned its property as a community resource for affordable housing. They sold the property to a developer, with plans to build apartments. The church will lease space for itself in the building once its finished. In the meantime, they’ve used some of the money from the sale to … Read More

Being a “Pollyanna” really isn’t such a bad thing

Four ways to cultivate gratitude, and therefore generosity, into your own life. Say thank you. Connect with compassion: Wish strangers well.” Let go of being right. Experience grace. Being a “Pollyanna” really isn’t such a bad thing…especially if it leads you to be a more genuinely grateful and generous person. Source: Inspiring Generosity

Use the 80/20 Rule to Be a More Effective Church Steward

Fundraising guru Jerold Panas believes (based on solid evidence) that “a mission that changes lives” is the number one reason people give generously to their beloved causes. While this article is geared toward electronic giving, the central section, Making Communications Personal, provides a fantastic primer on church communications. Read the bullet points, feel the impact of those numbers, and translate … Read More

The Challenge of Abundance

I was totally unprepared when I received a call from the trust department of the local bank. I had been the pastor of the tiny little congregation for just three months when I was informed that the church would be receiving a bequest gift with a value of nearly $250,000. That was nearly triple our annual budget! An unexpected gift … Read More

Updating the Congregation on the Progress of Capital Projects

Just because the active phase of your capital campaign is over doesn’t mean there’s still not work to do. Of course, there are construction projects to manage, new programs and building uses to develop, and the ongoing day-to-day tasks for ministry. But you must also demonstrate the impact that capital gifts are making. This “report-back” function of the campaign should … Read More

Hymns that Help Preach Stewardship

Many of us minister-types were not taught how to preach about money – and we do it poorly, and only when we’re “supposed” to – during the annual pledge campaign! Take a different approach: In Singing Stewardship, Adam Copeland gives us three hymns that could springboard into great sermons on stewardship as a lifelong, life-affirming, path toward discipleship. There are … Read More