Rooted to Grow Stewardship Campaign
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit.” – John 15:5
Introduction to Rooted to Grow
Dear congregational stewardship leaders,
Thank you! Thank you for taking the lead in this important ministry, this opportunity to invite people in your community into a deeper awareness of their gifts and the ways those gifts might serve God’s work in the church and the world.
We are providing you with this set of resources for an annual financial pledge campaign. They are free for you to use in whatever way you might find helpful including using all of it, parts of it, or adapting any of it.
The theme comes from John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit.” This image reminds us that our bearing fruit – our ministry, our generosity, our sharing with the world – is a result of God’s life flowing in and through us. It also invites us to think about the ways we are connected one to another and the ways we grow together.
If you are going to use the resource in full, we encourage you to meet with your team (including your pastor) to plan, then announce to the congregation the campaign and the dates of the events. The first event is an opportunity for the congregation (as a whole or in smaller groups) to engage some questions about where they experience God at work and how they see that bearing fruit in the world. The exercise uses the image of the vine with its roots, branches, and fruit. Some congregations will simply reflect on the questions and capture verbal or written responses. Others may want to use some version of the visual provided to create something people can see and engage during the time of the stewardship program.
Then we invite you to take some of the information you gather at the event and incorporate it into a letter inviting people to pledge. There is a do-it-yourself home Bible study included with the letter, as well as a sample pledge card for you to customize.
Plan a Sunday when people will return pledges and a time to celebrate the fruits of your pledge campaign. Make sure you send personalized thank you notes to everyone who participates! There is a sample thank you template provided on which you might add brief personal handwritten notes when you send them out.
We are praying that in whatever way you engage financial stewardship and pledging that you and your congregation discover in that the tremendous gifts of God for you and your community.
If you have any questions or are looking for additional resources, please feel free to reach out!
Pr. Steven Wilco, Associate to the Bishop
With thanks to the stewardship working group for their brainstorming, input, and feedback on this and other synod stewardship projects: Pr. Erica Kennedy, Pr. Victor Cabrera, Ryan Heckman, and Bill Nesheim.
Encourage One Another Stewardship Campaign Resources
Stir It Up Stewardship Campaign Resources
Additional Stewardship Resources
Webinar on Electronic Giving from Hartford Seminary - https://youtu.be/eVZ9tIMRfPo
This webinar will help your stewardship leaders think about the benefits of online giving as well as some other general ideas around financial stewardship and member communication around giving.
ELCA Stewardship Resources - https://www.elca.org/Resources/Stewardship
ELCA StewardNET - https://community.elca.org/stewardnet-newsletter-subscribe
This link will take you to a sign-up page for a monthly newsletter from the ELCA Churchwide StewardNET program with a variety of resources for stewardship.
Generation to Generation - Click document here (10.52 MB) for powerpoint presentation on giving differences between the generations.