Our church is kicking off a pretty cool 5-week program called REVEALED: 30 Day Churchwide Stewardship Campaign, or what we are calling 30 Days of Stewardship.
But before we can do this program, there are 12 weeks of preparation by those leading the program – there is an overall Campaign Coordinator, Admin Lead, Worship Lead, Youth Lead, and Small Groups Lead. I am functioning as the Small Groups Lead, and have lots to do. I wanted to blog my experience with this program, and will create a Series Permalink soon.
So, for the next 18 weeks, I’ll be blogging my experience. This is the second time I’ve attempted something like this, having
helped pioneer small groups c. 10 years ago using Ralph Neighbor’s Where do we go from here? series, which has developed into the ministry of SmallGroups.com, run by his son, Ralph Jr.
This is really exciting because it is going to elevate the quality of our small groups, and help develop deeper, genuine community. I’m not being blindly optimistic, but this work is really my passion – creating healthy churches that produce healthy, mature Christians.
Basically, the pastor, myself and the other associate pastor, the worship pastor, and the church admin and children’s church lead met to plan and strategize how we were going to implement the program.
Funny things that we had to cover in our first meeting included:
- What dates did we want to run this 5 week campaign? This was tough, since we had to take Mother’s Day into account (biggest restaurant day of the year, btw), as well as Memorial Day and the encroaching summer vacations. With a 12 week run-up time, we had to hit the ground running.
What parts of the program would we customize or drop? The program is somewhat flexible. Similar to the 40 Days of Purpose, there is lots of useful redundancy of communication built into the program. Each week, the Sunday Sermon, the bible study done by participants, and the video watched and discussed in the small group cover the same content. In this program, however, there is not only a bible study for use during the small group time, but also a daily devotional. We decided to drop the latter, in part because we didn’t think people needed two books, and in part because that c. 100 page paperback costs $20 each, too much for our budget or our participants, on top of the $10 bible study book.
- Who is going to lead what? Interestingly, the lead pastor is going to coach us all, but not lead anyo f the program itself – a great opportunity for us to learn. This program is being led by my fellow Associate Pastor (serving as Campaign Director), and I will be training and mentoring the small group leaders/hosts.
- What do we call it? Because this program deals with devoting your time, talent, and treasure to God (putting God first in all three areas), and mentions the word Stewardship in the title, many people may mistake it for a fund raising campaign, perhaps in disguise. So not only do we need to up front explain that is not really aimed at people’s wallets, but at true Christian discipleship, but also, we needed to make sure that ‘Campaign’ was the right thing to call it, since many people associate that with either evangelism or fund-raising. We decided to call it a ‘program.’
- What about childcare? Many people won’t attend a small group if they have to pay big bucks every week to get a babysitter. Gotta get those teenagers involved to help serve the church, and maybe pay them something too.
- What are our deliverables? There is so much to do in the 12 weeks of preparation before launch. I have to identify possible leaders and hosts (starting with those who have hosted or run a bible study previously), run them through the 6-part training, and get church folk to choose a group.
- What will our service project be? One important feature of this program is that participants not only get to know one another and grow as Christians, we want to mobilize to serve the community. We decided to set up one church-wide service project (rather than letting each group do one), with some basic characteristics
- Time delimited – it can’t be something ongoing, but something we can complete in one to three sessions
- Non-evangelistic – we wanted to do a pure service project.
- Local – we wanted to do something to bless people locally, rather than doing something like sending money to people overseas.
More about the service project in future posts. Now, I’ve got videos to watch, a 1.5 inch binder to read through, and a calendar of deliverables to complete for my part of the program.