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Posts tagged ‘Stewardship’


2014 Salary Survey is Live!

SalarySurveyThe 2014 ELCA Youth Ministry Network Salary Survey is live!  

Click here to take the survey.

One of the tools that the Network has produced over the last 15 years is the annual salary survey.  The survey is an indicator (not the only indicator…but certainly an important one!) of the health and well-being of our congregations in their approach to children, youth and family ministry.

The survey is also an important tool for congregations and those who work with children, youth and families as they go about planning and budgeting for the future.  You can use this tool as you enter into conversations with your congregation about salaries and overall compensation.

It’s an incredibly important tool, and so we encourage all to take the survey.  The more people we have who take the survey, the better the data we have, and the more effective a tool it can be.

It should take about 10 minutes to complete the survey.  Taking this survey is a great way to be a part of our community, to support each other in ministry, and to give yourself (and others) important tools in their planning process.

When the survey is complete, we will slice and dice the data so that it can be cross-referenced by

  • Size of congregation
  • Education level
  • Region of the country
  • Gender
  • ELCA roster status
  • Other categories as well.

This is a survey for both professionals and volunteers to take.  (There are different sets of questions for each).  The survey will be open and available through the month of March.  Our hope is to have the results tabulated and published on May 1, 2014.

So please, please, please take 10 minutes to fill out this survey!

Networked in Christ,


5 Ways to Save Money at the Extravaganza

SaveMoneyThis is the time of year that people are making decision about whether they will be joining their community at Extravaganza.  I hear from people all the time about what an important time it is for them.  The personal spiritual renewal, the quality continuing education and the networking and connections that are made are invaluable.  Unfortunately, there is a cost, and that cost sometimes prohibits people from being able to participate.

The Network works really hard at keeping costs affordable, and we do think that the event provides a great value.  Still, there is a cost.

So I’ve been collecting ideas from people about how to keep cost down and make the E as affordable as possible.  I wanted to pass those 5 ideas on to you:

  1. Bring breakfast.  Toss some granola bars, fruit and pop-tarts (mmmmm…pop tarts) into your suitcase and save a few bucks every morning.
  2. Find other local youth ministers and share a ride.  A high percentage of our members are in ‘driving range’ to St. Louis and this could be a way of saving some money.  Also, some synods are doing buses to ride share to St. L.  Contact your synod and let them know that you’re interested.  If enough people are, they might be able to make a go of it.
  3. Look for cheap air fares.  Right now, flights to St. Louis are remarkably affordable.  I’ve seen both Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines have had sales that include St. Louis.  Check often.  Airline rates go up and down, sometimes daily.
  4. Connect with some friends and share a hotel room.  The hotel will allow us to go up to 4 in a room.  With quad occupancy, the room winds up costing $30.25/night!  (plus some tax).  If you don’t have a roommate yet, you can check or post on our roommate forum to see if you can find someone else looking to save money.
  5. Get a donation of some frequent flyer miles to help you.  This is a great one:  Every congregation is going to have someone who is a frequent business traveler.  These folks have miles banked up.  Often, more miles than they can use.  If there is someone you know who you think might have miles banked, ask them if they would be willing to donate their miles to help get you to a great continuing education event that will benefit the young people of your congregation.  If you don’t know who these people are, ask your senior pastor.  They probably know.  And the senior pastor (who is likely motivated to help save the congregation money!) might be able to make the “ask” of the person on your behalf.  It’s a creative way for them to make a donation to the church!
  6. Remember that money that you pay for continuing education events…the money that you kick in, can be considered tax-deductible.  Check with your tax person for the details.
  7. Check with your Thrivent chapter/community.  Sometimes there are ways that their funds can be accessed to help fund continuing education events.  Not always, but sometimes.
  8. Register early!  The price of registration goes up November 1.  So register on or before October 31.  Sometimes people don’t want to pay until the 2014 budget year.  That’s totally ok.  Register now…hold the invoice and make your payment after January 1, 2014.  It might be helpful to send a quick note to Laurie, our registrar to let her know that this is what you’re doing…but it’s a totally ok strategy to save money!

Ok, there are more than 5 ideas.  But that’s because there are so many ways to help make it happen.

Do you have other ideas?  Post them in the comments below!

I hope to see you in St. Louis!


New Network Partner

We are excited to welcome and introduce a new Network partner organization! provides stewardship assistance to congregations and institutions through capital Campaigns, annual stewardship appeals, and strategic ministry visioning.  Equipping leaders to tell stories of how God is making a difference through the ministry to inspire people to grow in giving and be more involved.

Mike Ward has years of experience in both congregational and outdoor ministry, helping develop cultures of generosity.  Mike has also served for the last couple of years on the Network’s board of Directors, and has done workshops on fundraising at the Extravaganza as well as been a special guest on one of our 3rdTuesday Conversations.

We’re grateful to all of our partners for the support they provide, and for the the way they help to lift up and grow the Network and its members.  Thanks to for coming on board!