One of the many great things our friends at ELCA do for us is to publish a stewardship newsletter called “stewardNet.” It is a publication dedicated to sharing resources with people like you who are called to interpret the mission of the church others.
 In this issue, for example, there is an excellent article on the “Mother Teresa Effect” which speaks to how we present the congregation’s budget.  Be sure to watch the video, it could be a very effective preaching tool.
You will also find the link to the Findings from the Lilly School of Philanthropy 2013 Congregational Economic Impact Study very helpful.
The key findings in this study are:
  • U.S. congregations are generally improving financially. However, those with older attendees and those whose clergy are uninformed about congregational giving are experiencing the greatest challenges
  • Despite overall positive trends in fundraising receipts, pledges, and budgeting in 2011, the majority of congregations’ revenues have not kept pace with inflation in recent years
  • Changes in average congregational gift size and the number of donors are the main drivers of fundraising success
  • Congregations are increasing their budgets in the areas of missions and revenue-generating activity
  • Congregations have more work to do in the area of educating congregations on financial planning and charitable giving
  • The majority of congregations employ some type of electronic giving

If you would like excellent stewardship resources delivered
to your inbox please subscribe to StewardNet by visiting ELCA Growing Stewards.

“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and
a good ending; to have the two as close together as possible.”
—George Burns
Pastor Mark A. Anderson, Assistant to the Bishop


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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.