4 Ways an Executive Pastor Can Help Grow Giving
As churches approach the 1000-member mark, many begin to see the need for an Executive Pastor to help carry the load. And what a load it is! According to Executive search firm Vanderbloemen, a good Executive Pastor manages these extremely important church functions (Source):
- Strategic planning
- Daily operations
- Ensuring the church is carrying out its vision and mission
From this list, church finances undergird every other aspect of this role. That’s why Kevin Stone of Executive Pastor Online says, “The Executive Pastor is a CFO.”
As if budgets, payroll, reporting, purchases and loans aren’t enough, Executive Pastors must also keep their eye on the primary source of revenue for churches: Givers.
Consider these 4 ways an Executive Pastor can serve givers:
1. Stewardship teaching
Instilling stewardship principles into the congregation is an important ministry that many churches find difficult. The Pastor’s occasional sermons on the topic may sometimes produce a bump in giving. But ultimately, stewardship involves training, such as:
- Teaching on giving in a 101 or Orientation class
- Offering a Generosity Rockstar program to grow giving with small, regular commitments
- Financial classes (such as Financial Peace University)
2. Maintaining engagement
A recent Lifeway research study showed a startling correlation between attendance and tithing:
Once a week attendance:
- 57% say they give at least a tithe
- 14% give inconsistently
- 7% say finances make it hard to give
1-2 times a month attendance:
- 28% tithe
- 35% give inconsistently
- 13% say finances make it hard to give
Obviously, a person’s financial state impacts giving, too. And with the ongoing disruption we’ve seen in attendance since COVID, there may not be a lot you can do to improve attendance. But keeping members engaged in a variety of other ways is key to inspiring them to keep giving, even if they’re not attending in person.
To do that you’ll need …
We feel for churches struggling to navigate the growing field of technology solutions created for the church. There are a lot of confusing choices for Executive Pastors as vendors continually make organizational changes behind the scenes.
Technology has obviously become an important consideration around giving, especially since mandatory church closings in 2020. There’s a lot at stake, so tech decisions around giving technology should include researching these top aspects:
The giving experience
Everyone wants a simple giving process. But givers also want to know the impact of their gifts and have options for giving to ministries they’re passionate about. Vision2’s visual ministry designations feature is the only platform that dynamically demonstrates the impact of gifts.
Choose a platform that offers fully automated, end-to-end processing, including auto-reconciliation for online and offline giving.
Ease of switching platforms
Ask to see the implementation plan timeline and task list, along with a testimonial from a similar church.
Quality of integrations with your other systems
Data and reporting
Keeping an eye on giving trends is a critical part of the role of CFO or Executive Pastor. What kind of data analytics do they offer?
4. Donor Development
Donor development is a growing concept in the stewardship conversation. Many executive pastors now see the value of using their historical giving data for a ministry-first approach to generosity. They are taking a page from nonprofits, who know the power of nurturing their givers in the new digital world.
Support for Executive Pastors
Overseeing giving and finances is a huge part of the Executive Pastor role. Our goal is to make that easier for you. We invite you to invest 2 minutes to hear what a Finance Director for a multi-campus church has to say about her back-office transformation with Vision2:
- 5-figure savings
- Countless hours saved on reconciliation
- Multiple staff repurposed
Or download 8 Steps to Bring Your Church Back Office Into the Future, where she describes specific changes she made.