That's right...we've conducted 5 back-to-back stewardship campaigns. The first one was in 1992, followed by campaigns in 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2004. The best thing about stewardship campaigns is it gives us a chance to recast the vision to the entire church. We talk about why we exist...who we want to reach...why it's not all about me...an entire community that still hasn't heard the good news. It's a time to find out who is in, who wants to help, and who doesn't.
Here are my early thoughts on some of the differences we are planning for our Spring 2007 campaign:
- Pledge Period will be Two Years. In the past we've always asked for 3-year pledges. However, we are finding that life changes so fast and people are transient...we think it is very hard for anyone to know what their income will be beyond 2 years.
- Length of Campaign will be Seven Weeks. This is significantly shorter than in the past. In fact, in 2004 our campaign was 13-weeks from the time it was launched until we celebrated the commitments. That was way too long. Next year we will launch on Feb 10th and conclude by Mar 25th.
- Curriculum will be Coordinated. From 2-year olds to 80-year olds...we will all be studying the same thing. Every small group, large group, event and service in the church will focus on the same topics for 7-weeks.
- We Will Leverage the Current Activities of the Church. We already meet every weekend with the entire church. We already meet every Thursday night with 1,200 of our core. We will leverage those built-in opportunities to communicate the vision rather than planning a bunch of additional events, parties, and gatherings that no one has time to plan much less attend.
- We are Clearing the Church Calendar. For the seven weeks of the campaign focus, we are clearing the calendar of trips, events, vacations, conferences, or other activities that will take our focus away from the campaign. For 7-weeks, we want the entire church to think about our next step in reaching our community.
- We will Hire a Consultant to Help us. This isn't new for us. We have hired a consultant for three of our five campaigns. They know stuff we don't know. They have resources we don't have. This year we interviewed ISS and RSI. More information in a few days on who we have chosen and why.
You might think I'd be weary after being involved in 5 campaigns (and leading 4 of them). But I'm not. I love to think of new ways to communicate the vision. We still have more than 150,000 people within 10-miles of the church who don't attend church. I'm silly enough to think we can reach them.