Minute for Stewardship 2019 – Jeremy Mobley

During our Fall Stewardship season, members of Trinity are sharing in worship what excites them about being at Trinity and what compels them to support the church with their annual pledge. Jeremy Mobley, chair of the Finance Ministry Team, shares some changes coming to Stewardship this year.



Steve: Our Minutes for Stewardship kick off today, and I’m happy to welcome Jeremy Mobley, chair of our Finance Ministry Team, to the lectern. Thanks for being here today, Jeremy. Tell us – what about Trinity has you excited about supporting the church this Stewardship season?

Jeremy: Thanks Steve. From a Trinity Ministry team standpoint I’m excited about our decision to do things a little differently with the campaign than we’ve done in years past. But from a personal standpoint, I love this time of year because it gives our family time to think about our pledge and commitment to the church and what motivates us to support God’s calling through Trinity. For us it is children’s ministry and education of which we have 53 families with children under the age of 18 here and also our Missions ministry. Last year Trinity had over 800 volunteer hours across our different ministry partners, including a great afternoon yesterday serving ice cream and painting childrens faces at McCreesh place. While I know we can do more and there is plenty of opportunity to get more of the congregation engaged, how I’ve seen Trinity grow in the area of mission of over the last 5 years is something that really excites the Mobley family.

Steve: Earlier you mentioned something is different about the campaign this year than prior years, can you say more?

Jeremy: Yep! I did kind of mention that and move right on! This year the stewardship and finance ministry teams worked together to modify the approach this year. You may have seen in the last Postscripts a teaser for ‘A simple goal of $525,000.” One of the things we have decided to do differently this year is put a target number for the pledges we need to receive and treat this stewardship season more like a campaign. In doing so we are treating today as the kickoff, your pledge packets are being mailed tomorrow and we will be running the campaign through October 27th, which is the date for this year’s “Response Sunday”.

As you receive your packets in the mail we are encouraging you to sit down and think about the things that motivate you to give to Trinity. Then go ahead and fill out your pledge card and return it to church. It can be dropped off in Cheryl’s office mail slot or you can even email her your pledge information. As always this information is completely confidential between you and our Financial Administrator. As you do this you will begin to see our version of a campaign thermometer get populated with our progress in the cloister and narthex. Our hope is that by the time response Sunday comes on October 27th, we are celebrating achieving this important goal for the church!

The last thing I will mention is that we know how important response Sunday is and everyone coming together to deliver their pledges as a church. Not to worry! For those that return their pledges prior to response Sunday, you will receive a special pledge card acknowledging your gift that can be used on Response Sunday to be brought forward and placed into the basket.

Steve: Jeremy, I had a look in this year’s stewardship packet – nice-looking, by the way! – and I saw the $525,000 goal. That’s different from what we’ve done before. What’s so important about $525K?

Jeremy: I think the key theme this year is Transparency. We started it last year when we introduced the narrative budget that broke down how pledge dollars are spent across different areas of the church and its programs. This year we wanted to take it another step further and tell you exactly how much revenue we need from your pledging to make that happen. We know exactly how much we budget for every year, and we are able to determine based on our income streams how much of it needs to come from the congregation and their faithful pledges. I’m just not sure we’ve ever told the congregation what that number actually was. This year we are! To help make that as clear as possible, on the back of your pledge packets this year you are going to see our first ever ‘Stewardship Report’ which breaks down a number of key financial data that we think is very important for you, the congregation of the church, to be aware of. From revenue breakdown of income streams that support the church, to household pledge breakdowns and the number of pledges in different giving bands, all of these are meant to provide transparency and let you know how critical turning in and fulfilling a pledge is to keep this church prospering.

Before I talk about the achievability and in the spirit of transparency, I think its important from a Finance view to point out that this is step 1 of a 3-year venture. You may recall that this year we have a budgeted deficit, not something we take very lightly. Like anyone looking at balancing a budget, we have options to cut our expenses which would have adverse effects on the church, its programs and staff. Something none of us want to do if we can help it. With already planned increases in endowement income and building usage income, this modest increase in pledging revenue will allow us to get to this balanced budget while at the same time allow for increases to each of our ministry teams, instead of cuts!

So how achievable is $525,000? My answer is very! $525,000 represents around a $25,000 increase over last year’s total pledges. As many of you may know we have had several members pass away over the last year which were also faithful givers, so we have a little bit more pledging to make up for. Even then, with those included, this increase comes out to $23 per month, per family. Think of all of the little things that can be given up in a given month to make up $23 dollars from a couple starbucks coffees to for our family, one of our weekly Friday lunch trips to Chick-fil-a. We realize that there are families where this may not be something they can do this year, some that this fits perfectly into their finances and those that can do even more. This number is really meant to be representative of the achievability of this really important goal. You will even see this number specifically factored into your personal pledge summary on the inside of your packet.

Again, our hope is to provide you the information, as critical supporters of this church to think about your commitment to Trinity and what you can do financially to keep Trinity thriving into 2020 and beyond.