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Navigating the Path to Stewardship Growth (Part 3)

Navigating the Path to Stewardship Growth (Part 3)

Recommendation #3: Implement Goals and Metrics that Measure Spiritual Growth


The third blog in our Navigating the Path to Stewardship Growth series reinforces the need to measure.  As the survey revealed room for improvement (and a disconnect) in setting actionable goals and taking relevant steps to meet and measure against those goals, we must remember that: You can't improve what you don't manage, and you can't manage what you don't measure.

Measure to manage









While implementing metrics could seem overwhelming, it is really an intuitive process.  The following steps can get you started.


Set goals for accountability in your stewardship role(s).

Define all terms and goals for your stewardship program, and how (and by whom) success will be measured.


Set goals for both stewardship (financial discipleship training) and generosity (giving).

  • Stewardship Goals
    45.4% of small churches and 58% of larger churches surveyed reported increasing financial education as a top focus of their stewardship goal for the year.  This is great news! However, an impromptu webinar poll of a smaller audience revealed that more than half of respondents do not track financial discipleship efforts. Of those who do, many are likely tracking only registrations/ participation and attrition rates.

A more effective strategy would also track:

    • Final program graduations
    • Completion of a written plan for saving, budgeting, debt resolution, and tithing
    • Spiritual growth (via testimonies at the end of the class)
    • Self-reported life transformation through annual surveys for five years
  • Generosity Goals
    With weekly reporting, be aware that your numbers will go down due to recurring gift schedules. Monthly reporting to leadership is best for insight.  For short-term forecasting, monitor recurring gift schedules.
         Top giving metrics to track include:
    • Number of attending households that are giving. Always look at Household vs. Individual metrics. It is a more reliable measure of true giving trends. ​
    • Age of household members. If you have more older than younger consistent givers, they will eventually age out.
    • Frequency of gifts (irregular, regular, recurring, etc.) Frequency is a better measure of overall giving trends than overall giving rates.
    • Major donors
      • Your percentage of total giving from major donors matters. If the percentage is too high, the present is secure, but even one or two changes (i.e., deaths, lost givers) can be catastrophic.
      • Banks view a larger base of consistent small and medium givers as more stable for loans. 10% is a healthy percentage of top-giver contributions.
      • Top donors benefit from personalized engagement, including verbal acknowledgments of gratitude, input into major initiatives, conversations about legacy giving, and ministry for the unique challenges of wealth.

Include digital attendees in goals, metrics and resource offerings.

Engaging this grouping group of attendees is important and doesn't require a heavy lift. For example, along with the count-down clock to your live stream:

  • Offer stewardship/financial classes and other ministry opportunities (It’s ideal if the training opportunities are also available online.)
  • Include links to online giving
  • Incorporate generosity messaging
  • Track online attendance with a Google Analytics Tag


Perform a year-end evaluation.

Analyze all efforts, including communications (next section), and assess areas of improvement for next year. And remember to poll your members for their perspective on how well you are doing.  Questions such as “How well do you think the church is stewarding the resources we are given?” can reveal how well you are discipling and moving people in their journey.


Be sure to check out the prior post of the series that dives into the need for a dedicated stewardship role.


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