10 Principles for Discipling Key Donors

Recently I had several pastors step into the ranks of being committed to providing ongoing discipleship to key donors. It began during the planning phase of a capital campaign which laid the foundation for a long term fruitful ministry. Each pastor put in place a unique structure that reflected his personality, church culture, and relational network. Though each took a distinct approach the results were the same, exponential. Here is a list of common principles these pastors employed.

  1. Be bold. Provide high challenge at the beginning of the process. Explain the need, role, and expectation of a generosity ministry.
  2. Be open. Don’t hide anything, share what you know even the hard stuff. High capacity leaders will see through it if you don’t. They will also be able to discern how to become a part of the solution.
  3. Be a family. Involve both the husband and wife. They are typically accustomed to serving together in philanthropic ventures. They know their roles and can become a powerful team.
  4. Be visionary. The purpose is to go further faster toward the vision. Don’t make the conversation as small as a project or need. Hint, just because the dollar amount is large doesn’t mean the vision is clear.
  5. Be a discipler. Every conversation is a discipleship conversation. High capacity leaders tend to be isolated or primarily investing in others. Rarely does a pastor talk their language or does someone speak into their lives. It is your calling to respond to their need. Make it about vision, their particular passion, and the spiritual journey involved.
  6. Be a sojourner. Don’t have a short-term-fund-a-crisis or project mindset. Be committed to a long term discipleship relationship.
  7. Be personal. Ask for specific prayer request, have them into your home, call, and write hand-written notes. Invest yourself into their lives.
  8. Be a community. You do not hold all the relationships and high capacity leaders need to feel a strong connection to the body as a whole. Let leaders engage new leaders in the process. Ask them to share about their journey publicly. It will both challenge and strengthen the church.
  9. Be clear. Key leaders want  to know the specific need. They desire perspective to process how to respond. If you do not provide this clarity another non-profit will.
  10. Be inspiring. Share personal stories of dramatic life change or behind the scenes success in ministry. Show the impact value of the gift and how the future holds promise.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Todd McMichen

Todd McMichen

Todd serves at the Director of Generosity by LifeWay. His generosity roots arise from leading multiple capital campaigns for local churches that together raised over $35,000,000 for their visionary projects. Since 2000, Todd has been a well-established stewardship coach, generosity leader, author, and conference speaker.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I have found out more. I guess it's all about backing? ReNew doesn't have that. We are a mission church, in a small downtown area. We are a wonderful church though. I guess we also needed everyone to attend and possibly be of service all the time. If I could have it all over to again, I'd participate more, open my mouth more,....IDK, I still am holding onto God's intervention somehow. We have until Sept. 30th.
 
— Linda Speaks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> We are experiencing our church closing at the end of the month. We are all heart broken and agree that this is the best church family we've ever had. I personally can say I am not used to my attendance weekly being so important. I have never been to a start up church. We needed 3 things, an associate pastor, everyone's involvement and money. I cannot believe that the best church for so many people is closing. Being g a forever optimist, I can't help but think God will intervene somehow.
 
— Linda
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree with your 3 must-haves. I would add that the rectors have to call on every member who attends, at least once a year. The existence of a "calling commitee" is just an excuse to avoid making the effort. This is part of #3. If a rector does not like to call on parishioners, then she/he should not be a rector, but should find a different ministry. Carter Kerns, former senior warden, Diocese of Eastern Oregon and lifelong Episcopalian Tel# 541-379-3124
 
— Carter Kerns
 

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