The following questions will help you determine how prepared your parish is for a successful stewardship effort. Most parishes will not be able to answer “yes” to every question, however, the more “yes” answers you have the more successful your stewardship effort will be. As the parish moves into the stewardship process, the long-range goal should be to answer every one of these evaluation questions with a firm “YES!”
Are you pleased with Mass attendance?
Do parishioners feel a sense of belonging to the parish?
Do parishioners feel invited to share their thoughts, comments and suggestions?
Are all parishioners included in or advised of parish needs assessment?
Do parishioners really feel that the parish belongs to all of them?
Do parishioners understand that a parish exists to help them serve God or do they think the parish exists to serve them?
Do the parish leaders also understand this?
Do parishioners have a sense of ownership in the parish?
Do a fair number of parishioners participate in spiritual enrichment activities—small faith communities, adult faith programs, etc.?
Is there an active social service ministry with adequate opportunities for all interested parishioners to participate?
Are attempts made to reach out to those who are not actively involved?
Are there parish activities available for everyone including the elderly, the handicapped, the single, those without children and the young adults?
Is your parish spiritually strong?
Do parishioners believe that the parish is doing God’s work?
Do parishioners show a willingness to spend time with God through Eucharistic Adoration, weekday Mass, parish missions, personal prayer, etc.?
Are parishioners familiar with the scriptural concept of stewardship?
Does the pastor and other celebrants talk about stewardship whenever this concept is included in the Gospel readings?
Understanding that stewardship is how we live as Christ’s disciples, are your parishioners prepared to pray for successful stewardship- through Prayers of the Faithful, parish prayer groups or prayer chains, and/or a parish stewardship prayer?
Do parishioners feel appreciated?
Are the gifts people give adequately acknowledged, recognized and appreciated?
Are parish leaders sensitive to the fact that sometimes the smaller gift may actually be the more generous gift?
Do parishioners see that their gifts are really needed and used?
Are the gifts that parishioners give symbolically give tied to the Eucharist through good offertory practices?
Is your database up-to-date so that parishioner mail is properly addressed?
Do you have the correct first name salutations as part of your database?
Does your parish use weekly bulletin stewardship reflections?
Is the “mission” work of the parish adequately publicized so parishioners do see that they are investing in God’s work and not just in the maintenance of a private club for the parishioners?
Is there—at the very least—an annual note of appreciation sent to every donor and volunteer?
Does your parish bulletin include regular notes of appreciation and recognition? Is there an annual appreciation event?
Are stewardship-related scripture quotes used on parish bulletin boards, web sites, annual reports, etc.?
Are the leaders of your organizations encouraged to make all newcomers feel welcomed and do they encourage new input and ideas?
Are welcoming activities and processes in place, including a warm and convenient registration process, welcoming packets and invitations to events?
Are committee members good stewards themselves?
Are the committee chairs well-recieved by the parish community?
Do committee members recognize that stewardship is about so much more than money?
Is a strong committee or commission in place to lead the stewardship effort?
Is the committee representative of all the various types of parishioners in the parish?
Are committee members Eucharistic people with a strong spiritual relationship with God?
Is there open accounting of parish activities and plans including a comprehensive annual report and regular comments in the bulletin about parish business and management?
Is there a Parish Strategic Plan making your parish proactive rather than reactive?
Are all parishioners aware of the goals that are a part of this plan?
Are the accomplishments of the parish adequately promoted thus encouraging a sense of pride in the parish?
Is there a Parish Vision that has been formulated through broad-based input?
Stewardship is about every choice we make as Christians, including how we choose to spend our time and our treasure.