A Ministry Moment is a time in each service during your pledge campaign where a parishioner gives a personal testimony to the impact of mission and ministry of the church.
Ministry Moments are a case-development and pledge encouragement activity. The program takes careful planning, curating, coaching, and editing, but the end result is tremendous for the health of a church.
The job description of a Ministry Moment speaker is to answer the question: What feeds you about coming to Christ Church? What do we do that resembles your idea of what God call us to do? In 60 seconds or less.
The speakers should consider sharing about what moves them about their life at Christ Church. That one compelling element is enough, frequently, to motivate the people in the pew to consider how they would themselves answer that question. They put themselves in the shoes of the speaker. So what the speaker says should be personal, it should be authentic and it absolutely does not need to contain an ask.
- Recruit well and early (before the theme design):
- Who is authentic?
- Who fits with your brand?
- Who does what they say they will do?
- What people represent the mission?
- Have 500-word statements written by recruits.
- “Why I love this church.”
- Meet with recruits individually to review statements.
- Coach brevity, clarity, one message, authenticity.
- Coach fearlessness, prayer, prep, familiarity.
- If they are verbose, too theological, or too spiritual then coach them. Tell them the truth.
- Each statement needs to be under 500 words and needs to be finalized after a few drafts. Get comfortable with drafts and revisions.
- Do not settle until it is perfect!
- Thank the speakers after the campaign.
- Meet with the speaker in the week prior to their scheduled presentation so that they can practice at the podium with your critique.
Guiding Questions for a Ministry Minute Speaker:
What feeds you about coming to Christ Church? What do we do that resembles your idea of what God call us to do?
How do you decide what to pledge to the annual campaign every year? How is it different from other ways that you give? How had it changed your relationship to God or the church?
When to Paul invited me to speak to you this morning, he asked me what fed me about coming to Christ Church? I thought it was ironic that he asked in that way because what feed me about Christ Church is feeding other people.
My first memories of church growing up was going to the localfood pantry twice a year when my mother cleaned out her pantry. WE were not church goers when I was a child, so almost all I knew about church was that it was a place where people could go if they needed to be fed.
I just didn’t realize that the kind of “feeding” that you got at church was a lot more than just food. That would come later for me.
Now, my kids are 5 and 7 years old. They can’t go to the Just Harvest meals and serve the people there. But they do help me to make the big pans of spaghetti that are on the menu there on Saturday evenings. They help put all the ingredients together, they help to mix and measure. They go with us when we deliver the pans to the ministry on Saturday afternoons.
My kids already know more about church than I did at their ages and I am grateful for that. But if all they take with them into the world is that God wants us to feed those who are hungry, then I am mighty satisfied.
Stan and I agreed to be speakers for these Ministry Minutes because we feel strongly that giving the annual campaign is an expression of our own personal faith.
Over the years, there have been years when we have been able to give more and years when we have had to give less. Life works like that for all of us. But when we had to give less, we prayed on it and prayed that other people would be having a better year and that they could be counted on to give to the best of their ability. And when we have good years, we give a little more, hoping to cover for our Christ Church friends who cannot.
Because we believe – we have experienced – God’s love comes to us unearned. God’s grace is given to us whether or not we are worthy in our own eyes. And thank God, because if God gave us grace and mercy and love only when we were worthy…..
We believe that God made us to do God’s work in the world. And we should do that work the way God does it.
So when we think about giving from our own resources back to God, we never ask “Well, what is it worth?” We pray to a God whose love is unconditional and whose grace is infinite and we ask to be unconditional and infinite in our generosity.
Stan and I have found that letting God into our decisions about giving to the church has made our faith stronger. Which is, after all, the goal of all of our lives.