What is Stewardship?

“Stewardship” is everything we do after we say, “I Believe.”  Stewardship is not fundraising, it is one aspect of the Christian life–like worship, prayer, Bible study and service. The path from membership to discipleship can be traveled by focusing on authentic stewardship ministry and telling the story of what we do together.

This Stewardship Overview provides an introduction on changing the conversation from fundraising to authentic ministry:

The Rev. Bill Tesch is the Director of Evangelical Mission for the South Dakota Synod. Contact Pastor Bill if you would like to explore ways to improve your congregation’s stewardship ministry.

2016 Stewardship Days Resources

Download resources that were presented at this Summer’s Stewardship Days.

Click here to view the videos presented at Stewardship Days.

2016 Year-End Materials

2016 Stories of Faith in Action

Stories of Faith in Action features images and stories of people whose lives have been touched by ELCA ministries, all made possible by congregational offerings. This resource tells the story of how your offering is put to work by the ELCA churchwide office throughout the United States and around the world. More stories can be found at www.livinglutheran.com; resources are available at www.ELCA.org/stories.

You’ll also find resources on Mission Support (the portion of your weekly offering that is shared with ELCA synods and churchwide ministries) and how the important contributions members make to this church are put to use in life-changing ministries across the country and around the world.

To order free copies of Stories of Faith in Action click here to be taken to the ELCA website or call 800-638-3522 and ask for ELCAMA1307. You’ll only pay for shipping. Be sure to download story bulletin inserts, posters, a Mission Support FAQ and a how-to-use guide.


Your Offering At Work

Your Offering At Work Poster (pdf)

Resources from “Giving Ourselves to the Lord” with Dr. Ed Kruse

All resources may be accessed and downloaded here.  Resources include:

  1. Overview, including timetable
  2. PowerPoint – 15 slides
  3. Letter #1 – to enlist Teams of Two from 1/3 to 1/2 the congregation
  4. Letter #2 – to all members six weeks before Celebration Sunday
  5. Letter #3 – to all members four weeks before Celebration Sunday
  6. Letter #4 – to all members two weeks before Celebration Sunday
  7. Letter #5 – to all members the day after Celebration Sunday
  8. Mail Listening – pledge form to be sent to those who did not receive a visit or phone call
  9. Phone Listening – pledge form to be used by phone callers to those who did not receive a visit
  10. Listening Visit – pledge form to be used on personal visits by Teams of Two
  11. Listening Visit Guidelines – for Teams of Two making personal visits
  12. Ceremony for Gathering the Estimates of Giving – for the pastor and guest speaker
  13. Congregational Health Summary – for general use by South Dakota Synod congregations
  14. Bible Study #1 – Generous
  15. Bible Study #2 – Commitment
  16. Bible Study #3 – Share
  17. Bible Study #4 – Give Freely
  18. Bible Study #5 – Sacrifice
  19. Bible Study #6 – Joy
For more information about Dr. Ed Kruse and his ministry, visit healthierchurch.org.

Stewardship Day Resources

Here are a few of the stewardship resources that have been distributed during Fall Stewardship Days that you may find useful in your congregation:

Mission Support FAQs (pdf) • Mission Support Conversations With Your Council or Board (2014) (pdf) • Simple Fall Stewardship Program – “That All May Be Fed” (pdf) • A Recipe For A Recipe (pdf)

South Dakota Synod Steward Leaders: “God’s Gifts. Open Hands.”

We have 25 trained steward leaders in South Dakota to walk beside you in your congregation’s stewardship endeavors.  They are located across the South Dakota Synod and prepared to serve you!

If you are interested in having a steward leader come to your congregation, please call Rev. Bill Tesch at 605-274-4026 or e-mail him at btesch@sdsynod.org.

Steward Leader Brochure (pdf)

South Dakota Synod Cookbook

The South Dakota Synod Cookbook is full of recipes for ministries happening across the South Dakota Synod.  It also includes essential recipes for your next potluck!

South Dakota Synod Cookbook (pdf)

Mission Interpretation

Mission Interpreters tell the story of where the offering is going through your giving.   Synods and coordinators work in synergy to tell personal stories from your synod. Personal stories are being told of how giving has changed the lives of many and being good stewards help to support God’s work, Our hands.  This is achieved through temple talks, bible studies and synod tables.

For more information about Mission Interpretation, visit the ELCA’s Mission Interpretation Page or contact Teresa Nygaard, SD Synod Mission Interpretation Coordinator, at tnygaard49@gmail.com or 605-661-6866.

The annual response campaign, in which each person or household in the congregation is asked to respond to God’s call on their life by completing a financial commitment form indicating a plan for giving over the coming year, is the cornerstone of any congregation’s financial stewardship ministry. Click here for information about several excellent annual response campaigns.

Capital Appeals challenge each person or household to second mile giving over and above their giving to the ongoing mission and ministry of the church.  Capital Appeals are conducted in order to advance the congregation’s mission through such things as: facility expansion, debt reduction, missionary sponsorship or major program expansions.

  • Stewardship Key Leader is an excellent resource for congregations considering Capital Campaigns.
  • Congregations in South Dakota have also worked with the following consulting companies with good success:

You may contact Rev. Bill Tesch for guidance in planning a Capital Campaign.

Links for additional resources for stewardship ministry:


If you are the treasurer of your church and looking for basic information about financial management, financial reporting, visit this site.

Telling the Story

Together we do amazing things!  Your congregation, the South Dakota Synod, and the ELCA churchwide office do ministry together around the world and in your back yard.  We need you to tell the story of what God is doing in your midst.  God is at work in South Dakota and globally!


2016 Summer Stewardship Days Cover Letter And Resource List
2016 Summer Stewardship Days Cover Letter And Resource List
308.6 KiB
2016 Summer Stewardship Days Mission Support Conversations With Your Council Or Board
2016 Summer Stewardship Days Mission Support Conversations With Your Council Or Board
254.5 KiB
2016 Summer Stewardship Days Talking Points For 2016 Video
2016 Summer Stewardship Days Talking Points For 2016 Video
278.2 KiB
ELCA Where Your Offering Goes
ELCA Where Your Offering Goes
674.1 KiB
7.1 MiB
Stories Of Faith In Action 2016
Stories Of Faith In Action 2016
8.7 MiB