Stewardship campaigns are as important as they are predictable in many churches. People have come to expect the yearly request for a commitment card, but they rarely look forward to the plea.
Though the basics of the campaigns may stay the same, adding a bit of technology might help you bring a fresh perspective to the long-standing tradition.
1. Deliver a daily digital devotional.
Creating a campaign that focuses on stewardship as a means to grow spiritually is key. Though it is important to collect contribution commitments, the ultimate goal is to help people grow in their relationship to God by taking the next step of faithfulness in their finances.
Before you begin your stewardship emphasis, ask your church leaders to write short devotionals on the theme verse for each week’s sermon or on each week’s larger stewardship topic. Once you collect them, use your website’s tools to create a blog and pre-schedule a new entry to post each day. Then, using our If This Then That tutorial, set up an IFTTT recipe to automatically post each new story to your church’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as soon as they go live, so that your congregation sees a new devotional post on your social media accounts each day.
You can take your devotional delivery to the next level by pre-scheduling text notifications using a free tool like Remind.com to send to any member who has signed up to receive them.
2. Digitize the commitment card.
The process of filling out a commitment card can be cumbersome. Depending on how you structure your service, it may not happen at all if people don’t bring a pen or they didn’t bring a card mailed to them — and they don’t want to ask someone for those things.
Making your commitment card available online removes the barrier to filling out the form. Members can complete it online during the service using their smartphones. Though most website providers have a tool for forms, you may want the added security of a third-party provider like FormSite that adds encryption and can even be set up to take a one-time gift using Paypal, Authorize.net or other payment gateways. Learn how to save time and money using online forms.
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3. Create celebration videos.
A stewardship campaign should celebrate all the ministry enabled by giving. These videos tell stories, not just giving facts. Encourage someone to share a personal story of the impact of a specific ministry on their life. Seat the person in a quiet space for the interview, and then use a video editing tool like iMovie to add pictures and video that compliment the story as it is told in the background.
Learn the basics of video marketing and to make your videos even better, check out our 12 production tips for video marketing.
4. Encourage a texting celebration.
Technology can enable celebration without the panic of public speaking and create a joyful giving experience that will engage your congregation. Simply ask people to text their celebrations to a specific number and then have a volunteer ready to type the messages into your presentation software. We reviewed several SMS text providers to help you start thinking about features you may want for your ministry.
To make the process a little easier (and avoid giving someone’s personal cell phone number to the entire congregation), use Google Voice. Sign up for a free Google Voice account and select your local number. Then, log in through any web browser, copy the texts as they come in and paste them right into the slides.
What if stewardship were more than a campaign, but more of a mindset that you foster in every season? Learn the 5 key elements in successful stewardship strategies and incorporate technology solutions to take your stewardship efforts to the next level.
When Jeremy and his wife are not playing with their four children, he oversees youth and college ministries and leads the evening worship service at Christ UMC in Mobile, Al. Jeremy is an author of several books and resources that you can find atJeremyWords.com or follow him on Twitter!