Editor’s note: This is the fourth in Dan Loughman’s five-part series on the key factors of developing a successful Parish Stewardship Council.
Ongoing stewardship formation and education is a must for Parish Stewardship Council members. Council members must be committed to this ongoing formation in order to be in a position to design and facilitate the necessary best practices in forming Christian stewards within the parish community.
The initial and ongoing formation as to the concept and understanding of “The Spirituality of Stewardship” is of utmost importance. All members of the Parish Stewardship Council must be willing and committed to attending and participating in all available formation opportunities.
One available resource is “The Spirituality of Stewardship” DVD Formation Series and Facilitator Manual recently published by The Catholic Diocese of Wichita. For more details, click here to follow this link to “The Spirituality of Stewardship” information page on the Diocese of Wichita’s Web site. This will provide you with an overview of this formation series and how it can be obtained if you so desire.
As Parish Stewardship Council members, it is important to understand that one cannot teach and form others if one is not living that which they seek to teach.
As with any council or committee, the membership consists of a variety of personalities, cultures, talents and opinions. In addition, one will typically find different levels of spirituality, education and experience. With this potential and possible variety of traits and characteristics, it is imperative that the members of the council spend prayerful and quality time seeking to bond spiritually and socially to become “family” in the sense of knowing and understanding each other, including spouses, who may not be serving on the council. Bonding in this manner will also serve to avoid the potential for meetings to be nothing more than a meeting of strangers with no common vision or mission.
Pastors and Parish Stewardship Council members should avail themselves of all available continuing education resources and opportunities, including diocesan, regional, and national seminars and/or conferences on the subject of stewardship.
In part 5 of this series, which will be posted on May 30, we will address the Parish Stewardship Council best practices in terms of facilitating a successful stewardship process within the parish community.