When Accompaniment Becomes a Calling
Dear Partners in Ministry,
Freshly equipped by a robust seminary education, I arrived at my first call in November at the beginning of a fall stewardship campaign. After being installed and having been given keys to the building, I stepped into my new office and sat down at the desk. There in the middle of my desk was a copy of Herb Miller’s "Consecration Sunday" material. Within a matter of two weeks, I was expected to master the material and provide some leadership in a congregation’s efforts to revitalize its stewardship ministry. You can imagine my joy and relief when I discovered the congregation had also contacted the Rev. Gerry Rafftery to be the key speaker of the Consecration Sunday efforts! At the time, I was simply not equipped for bold stewardship leadership by my seminary education. I was immediately grateful for Gerry’s leadership and wisdom to help navigate that fall’s stewardship endeavors. It would take hours of small group stewardship table work, continuing education events, consultations with mentors, and practice before I finally felt adequately equipped to provide this type of leadership in my own call. It is work well worth the time and effort.
With all of this said, I recognize that for many of us providing key stewardship leadership in our congregational settings, we might feel like we simply do not have the time or resources to work towards greater competencies. In our congregations, many of us feel like we need the support now. We are in need of consultation and help in a variety of ways. One of the early calls I received as the new Stewardship Coordinator was to be a Consecration Sunday speaker. Since I was unable to be away from my own congregational setting at this time of year, the secondary request was for a database of people that are available to be of aid. This is a request which does not belong to one congregation alone.
I would like to honor this request to have a database of bold stewardship leaders willing to provide assistance to other congregations in the Saint Paul Area Synod. I need your help to make this request a possibility. The Saint Paul Area Synod needs your help. As leaders within your congregations, would you or anyone from your congregation be willing to serve other congregations in this capacity? If your answer is yes, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 454-2344.
In the meantime, I want to thank you for your willingness to help your people understand their vocations as faithful stewards. Your work with your people on behalf of Christ enables so much transformational ministry to happen. Additionally, I have listed for organizations which can provide tremendous help in our stewardship efforts. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
www.mif.elca.org/fundraisingservices (Formerly ELCA Stewardship Key Leader Program)
www.thejoshua-group.com (Outgrowth of Kairos and Associates -- Connecting the strategic mission of your congregation with funding the mission)
www.kairosandassociates.com (Capital Resource Development and Stewardship Development)
www.luthersem.edu/Stewardship (Headed by Adam Copeland – this is a clearinghouse of stewardship education to equip healthy stewardship leadership)
Blessings in Your Ministry!
The Rev. Tom Jenkins, Stewardship Coordinator
(Photo via Unsplash)