Five Critical Questions in Five Days for Church Stewardship Leaders – #3

This is the third installment of my series on questions church stewardship leaders should be asking.  Leaders want solutions. They recognize a problem and invite corrective measures for undesirable progress. In recent years, church leadership has operated with the same mindset when dealing with the development of congregational stewardship ministry. Leaders want solutions for the flat giving. They want ideas to change the entire stewardship system.

Ideas aren’t always helpful. If a leader lacks the right mental focus or level of commitment, ideas tend to fall into an abyss.  For the ideas to work, change needs to make its way into the leadership.  When leaders change the way they think and the way they assess the problems, the beginning of a new congregational stewardship ministry can begin.

How do leaders face authentic assessment?  They face good questions. Questions travel to places of the heart and mind that advice doesn’t.  Good, thought-provoking questions can lead the leader to a new understanding of him or herself, God, the congregation, and those dreaded discussions about budgets and giving.

For the next three days, I will share a question per day to spur on a new mindset for stewardship leaders.

Question 3:

What is your elevator speech?  These speeches sound dated, but they are more relevant than ever.  Knowing the unique purpose of your church community, and being able to articulate this mission in 45-60 seconds, is an exercise one should not ignore.  Two weeks ago, the VP of Development for a university shared his elevator speech with me, and afterwards I was surprised with how much I learned about the purpose of this university that was previously unknown to me.  Yes, the university provides many with an educational experience—and, as I learned, so much more.

Imagine a potential giver meeting with you or sitting beside you on the train in to work and asking the following questions:  “Why should I give money to the church community when I can give my money directly to causes that are meaningful to me and caring for the poor?”, or “How would our city be any different if your church community was not here?  What difference is your community truly making?”  If you can craft the answers to these questions, you are on your way to creating an elevator speech that will elevate your community’s uniqueness and relevance in the minds of potential givers.  In summary, every unforgettable elevator speech contains the following:

  • An expression of the community’s uniqueness.
  • The “why” behind the community’s existence.
  • The impact the community is having on the world.

Do you have a prepared elevator speech to share with potential givers?  Can you think of someone in your community that would be good at helping you craft such a speech?

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