Effective Stewardship

Closing the Loop

Ken Williams

Jack Carney was an impresario who held forth each weekday morning on radio station KMOX in St. Louis. With a format now common on other stations, he talked, interviewed, held court, advertised products, and reminisced in a manner similar to that of Arthur Godfrey years earlier.

One day, when Jack Carney was on the air, a cleaning lady named Miss Blue wandered into his studio to pick up the trash. She did not realize that Jack Carney was on the air, something he then capitalized on by just chatting with her. As she departed the studio that day, Jack Carney asked Miss Blue if she had anything else to say, and she replied with what later was to become her trademark as a pseudo celebrity: “All is well.”

With that statement in mind, picture the scenario in most churches. A special emphasis occurs each year, usually in the fall, as part of an annual financial campaign, during which people are asked to make a commitment as to their giving in the coming year. Too, in most churches, each Sunday, the offering is received as a regular part of the worship service.

But in far too many churches, the congregation is not fully informed as to the results of their giving or the current progress in meeting the needs of the church. Perhaps some statistical data is included in the newsletter, but for the most part, it is just assumed that “all is well” and that the needs are being met.

But that is not the case at all if people are uninformed as to financial progress or the current financial situation. In one church with which I am familiar, the results of a major capital funds drive were stated publicly only briefly. Nothing was set forth in writing, and no mention was made again as to the status of the drive. As a result, the congregation for the most part remained confused as to the success or failure of the drive. The “loop” of stating a need, asking people to be part of God’s plan to meet the need, and then informing them of the on-going progress was incomplete. The “loop” in that church was not a “loop” at all, but a circle which had a large part missing.

As you consider both special financial drives and the regular week-by-week offerings in your church, remember that people want to know what is happening. And while they might not need to know all of the minutia concerning financial matters, they do have a “need to know.” Be sure to “close the loop” by letting your congregation know what is happening concerning the needs and their giving. In this way, you can insure that “all is well” both for the present and in the future.

This entry was posted in Communique. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.