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Just as the vine bears fruit only through its branches, so Jesus has chosen to work in the world through us. We are the members of His body – the branches through which the Vine must bear fruit. We bear fruit when we serve and support God and His Church.
Choose the Right People
When forming your team that will share the message of stewardship ministry in the parish, it is of utmost importance to choose the right people. Your stewardship team should be made up of Christ-centered, prayerful, positive, forward-thinking people that participate in Divine Liturgy and sacraments of the Church. You can find them on any Sunday in Church. Do not feel that you need finance people on the Stewardship Team. This will only send the message that all you are trying to do is to get people’s money.
Choose People that Care about People
The stewardship team must see their calling as a ministry of love for the Church and her members, seeing all members as branches of the True Vine. John C. Maxwell writes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Stewardship is a ministry that requires us to listen to our people, to know them and to love them.
“It thrives on the belief that the judgment and capabilities of each person are valued and respected. Commitment rises spontaneously when people are treated as persons, and it dies a painful death when people are not.” Williams & McKibben in Oriented Leadership
Organizing and Planning
- An effective Parish Stewardship Chair understands and is passionate about ministry;
- The Priest is the spiritual advisor and primary spokesperson/advocate for stewardship through sermons, bulletins, newsletters and visitations.
- A parish council member should act as liaison to the Stewardship Team.
- Team members must lead by example with 100% participation in stewardship.
- The team plans the stewardship year, the distribution of stewardship materials, events, visitations, focus groups, seminars and the general follow-up effort.
- Personal contact through which parishioners’ concerns and suggestions are heard and noted by the Stewardship Team is critical to the success of the program.
- In-home visitation by members of the team has been shown to be the most effective way of increasing members’ connection to the parish and awareness of current and proposed ministries.
- Small groups, focus groups and town hall meetings may be used to supplement individual home visitations or they may be a substitute if visits are not feasible.
Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Stewardship Resources Handbook for 2017; for more information also see Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Stewardship Ministries.
As part of an on-going series on stewardship, OCN is pleased to share excerpts from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Stewardship Resources Handbook for 2017. This series hopes to assist your parish Stewardship team in getting started and planning a full year of Stewardship Ministry. The handbook contains guidelines for preparation of a parish Stewardship Program, updated letters, a sample commitment card and new member card, various campaign formats and ideas for parish stewardship ministry.
Funding for news from this department is provided through the support of OCN viewers and by Leadership 100.
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