Recently I had opportunity to revise a letter being prepared for distribution to a church congregation regarding an upcoming meeting to review and approve the “budget” for 2010. A cover letter draft was written for review by the team prior to mailing with the proposed budget.
I very much appreciate the members who have served on this team, some for many years, because it is a direct reflection of their heart for developing a generous culture within their church.
This information is shared to hopefully encourage and enlighten as you prepare similar communications for your ministry. So here are some excerpts of the first draft and the final copy that was used. (Names have been removed for privacy.)
Which letter motivates you toward greater generosity?
In the 21st century, having intentional multiple income streams is a necessary strategy. Here are several of the most popular income streams.
Regular undesignated gifts are used for funding the congregation’s annual ministry plan (the budget). Encourage donors to establish a monthly pattern for their contributions. The key is to get donors to commit to a monthly amount and then increase the monthly amounts every year or as often as possible.
It has a white background; the words “MIND THE GAP” are white inside a dark blue bar and behind the bar is a thick red circle. If you have ridden on the London Underground, you know this sign. It is positioned on the wall as you exit a train car to remind you to step over the gap between the train car and the platform. I like this sign. It reminds me of riding subways in New York City while on vacation as a child. It also challenges me to think about the gap between what I believe and what I do.
I am anticipating the end of summer and the beginning of fall. I know that, for many churches, the fall season heralds that anxiety-ridden process of budget planning. The anxiety will probably be greater this fall because of the loud, loud noise of the recession. Budget planning time is when we should mind the gap between what we as Christians believe and what we do.