ECFA Reveals Call to Refine Church Strategies in Inspiring Biblical Generosity
A recent survey points out the need to revamp church strategies
However, most churches lack a written core value for inspiring people in biblical generosity, according to a survey conducted by Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). The first annual church Stewardship Survey discovered that more than two-thirds of churches have no written biblical generosity strategy.
Dan Busby, president of ECFA, pointed out that “the survey findings should trigger thoughtful discussions among pastors, stewardship pastors, senior staff, church boards and elders.” He further stated that there is a need to strengthen church leaders to review stewardship and generosity trends and practices in other churches. The leaders can then set their own priorities for accelerating effectiveness, he added.
The survey revealed that spiritual complacency ranked as the greatest obstacle to increased giving. The church leaders who participated in the survey were requested to rank the top five areas which prove to be hindrances to increase giving. Over 48 percent of them classified “spiritual complacency among members/attendees as the top obstacle. Current economic environment had the most Top 5 votes.
Busby stated that, “church leaders are extremely satisfied with how they manage financial resources.” They are less satisfied with how they motivated people for funding the ministry, he discussed. He also indicated that the survey is one of the many avenues ECFA continues to pursue in order to help establish stewardship resources for churches.
The study singled out a part of leading churches which accomplished increased giving in 2013. These churches belonged to the top 25 percent of per-attendee giving among the respondents. These are the attributes common among the leading churches:
1. Per-attendee giving is 74 percent higher than other churches.
2. Budgets are set about 10 percent below their giving levels, which suggest fiscal conservatism; while other churches set their budgets one percent below their giving levels, which prompts small bugger.
3. Giving channels, kiosk giving, text-based giving and face-to-face/personal visits about giving were more likely used.
4. Personal thank you notes were sent as part of intentionally thanking givers. Givers were also called to express appreciation. Leading churches also disciple and captivate givers with meaningful gifts.
Busby concluded that as ECFA evaluate best practices and trends, church leaders can then “better discern how to raise Kingdom resources in God-honoring ways.”
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