This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you.
God gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God,
wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (The Message)
More registration information is posted at the bottom of this page.
The Southwestern Minnesota Synod invites you and your ministry team to participate in a three-part seminar experience that will enrich the way you and your congregation approach generosity and giving. Cultivating Generous Congregations (CGC) is an interactive seminar of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving. CGC demonstrates how pastors, deacons, and ministry leaders can energize congregational generosity. CGC uses interactive segments with participants to explore topics like generosity in context, the congregation’s theology of money, the importance of fiscal transparency, and donor care. Action steps within the training are designed to deepen the exploration and experience of generosity for both laity and rostered leaders. One of those action steps is introduction and training on an exceptional annual campaign entitled, “Because of God’s Great Mercy.” This effective annual campaign, designed by Charles “Chick” Lane, author of books including the popular, “Ask. Thank. Tell,” is part of the cycle of giving taught in CGC! ministry leaders can energize congregational generosity. CGC uses interactive segments with participants to explore topics like generosity in context, the congregation’s theology of money, the importance of fiscal transparency, and donor care. Action steps within the training are designed to deepen the exploration and experience of generosity for both laity and rostered leaders. One of those “action steps” is introduction and training on an exceptional “annual campaign” entitled, “Because of God’s Great Mercy.” This effective annual campaign, designed by Charles “Chick” Lane, author of books including the popular, “Ask. Thank. Tell,” is part of the “cycle of giving” taught in CGC!
Four Goals of CGC
• See generosity as a discipleship/faith practice
• Move away from a scarcity mindset
• Recognize fundraising is about relationships
• Lead so money follows mission
CGC is for those who ask questions like:
- What does the Bible say about generosity for today’s world?
- What’s involved to develop generous donors?
- What’s necessary to lead a congregation into the sharing of ideas for deeper generosity?
- How important is transparency and accountability?
- How is generosity lived into as a dimension of pastoral care and discipleship?
- What is the current context for cultivating greater generosity?
- How is fundraising seen as ministry?
- How do we implement an effective annual plan and campaign for cultivating a generous congregation?
Value of CGC:
Watch this video testimony from Pr. Jeff Fitzkappes of the value of CGC in a congregation.
Who are the trainers?
The Lake Institute on Faith and Giving CGC course may be taught only by Lake Institute-trained adjunct faculty. For this training our approved trainers will be:
Pastor Larry Strenge
Larry recently served as the
Director for Evangelical Mission
in the SW MN Synod and begins
his “re-fire-ment” in June 2019.
Over the past few years,
he has enjoyed teaching CGC
to several congregations.
In July 2019 Larry will become
the ELCA’s coordinator of CGC.
Pastor Dwaine Bruns
Dwaine retired from parish
ministry and serves as a
conference minister in the
Great River Conference
of the SW MN Synod.
Dwaine has attended CGC as
a congregational pastor in his
last call before retirement.
Coaching throughout and following the gatherings!
The coaching process:
How many times have you attended a wonderful learning event and then had challenges implementing your learning with your congregation? An ELCA Level 2 trained stewardship coach is included in the plan of CGC! Each team is assigned a coach who will develop a relationship via Zoom following the first training. With a coach, you will have personal guidance to assist you in the congregation’s implementation plan to continue the work begun at the three trainings. Regarding coaching:
Coaches will make a series of contacts with congregation teams over the course of about 12 months: 3-4 individual contacts with your congregation/parish and 3-4 cohort (4 congregations) calls. Your coach will journey with you to help your congregation team identify your goals and strategies for cultivating generosity in your congregation and learn from others.
Coaches are NOT consultants. The coach will engage the congregation by asking powerful questions that help each team articulate a vision and take action steps toward that vision or goal. The coach may introduce an idea, but it is always the responsibility of the congregation to accept that idea, discern its meaning for their setting, and then decide if it wants to find a way to implement that idea into their way of following the Holy Spirit’s direction to follow Jesus in cultivating generosity in that place.
Coaches who are assigned to a parish (2, 3 or more congregations) provide the coaching call to the parish, not each congregation in the parish. Parish congregations gather together in one location for these coaching calls via Zoom.
- Chick Lane’s annual campaign “Because of God’s Great Mercy”
- ELCA “Stewardship and Vitality” survey
Three one-day gatherings
Offered in person or via Zoom in synod settings!
September 28, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
St. Stephen Lutheran
1301 So. 4th St., Marshall, MN 56258
November 2, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
100 Church St., Marshall, MN 56258
January 11, 2020
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
St. Stephen Lutheran
1301 So. 4th St., Marshall, MN 56258
For non-SW MN Synods: Virtual locations are set up by the synod representative. Check with your synod office for locations. In SW MN: We encourage participation in person, if possible! For locations beyond 2 hours from Marshall AND where at least 4 congregations are present in an area, a Zoom video option is planned.
Cost or investment-$550
$550 includes the rostered leader and up to 3 others on the team who will receive 4 CGC books. Additional books, if desired, must be ordered in advance for $50/book.
Multi-point parishes pay one $550 fee. However, coaching is for the parish, not each congregation AND 4 books regardless of number coming from the parish. Additional members (beyond 4) may attend the trainings.
Free-will offering (suggested $10/person) for participant lunch and snacks on the first gathering at both Marshall and Zoom virtual locations. A free-will offering for snacks at the second and third gatherings is appreciated; no lunch will be provided.
A generous Synod Vitality grant from our ELCA makes this $550 cost possible! CGC training, materials, and Level 2 stewardship coaching are at least a $1,500 value.
SW MN Synod congregations/parishes: Please pay by check to the Southwestern Minnesota Synod
PO Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283. Put CGC in memo.
Other synod congregations/parishes: Send $550 to your synod office.
Contact your local Director for Evangelical Mission or synod office.
Q: What about a multi-point parish?
A: First, you pay one fee of $550 for the parish. This is regardless of the number of congregations in the parish (2, 3, 4, or more). Second, your parish is treated as one unit, not individual units, for coaching. Third, four CGC books are included in the $550 cost. You may get by with one book/congregation in a parish, but you may want more if you have a larger group who like to have their hands on something during the training. These must be ordered by September 1 and paid for ($50/book) to your corresponding synod. Fourth, the CGC training is designed for a small group of people who work together on the implementation plan. Additional parish members may attend the trainings. Note that there is a free-will offering (suggested $10/person) for lunch/snacks. Finally, on your registration, if your number of participants changes, PLEASE contact the SW MN Synod office. They will be communicating numbers to each synod in mid-September.