Equipping a vibrant church together

Stronger and Better Together…Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World.


Stronger and Better Together…Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World

We believe the church should look beyond itself. As a Synod of the ELCA, we also believe we are stronger and better together if pastors and deacons do not have significant debt. Thus, unless restricted, 10% of every gift will help underwrite an ELCA Fund for Leaders Scholarship in the name of the Southern Ohio Synod mission territory. The Scholarship will provide permanent leadership development funding for a rostered ministry candidate. Eventually, Fund for Leaders scholarships will assure every candidate can attend seminary tuition free. Our partnership through this campaign helps bring that dream into reality. The goal is $120,000 or more, which will fund approximately $6,000 a year - about half of seminary tuition for a full time rostered minister.

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“I have been looking for years for this type of Synod-led initiative to aid my professional development. It provides the framework to make collaboration happen, and work with experts who are successful in doing worship, while providing support at all levels of worship in the Synod.”

five campaign goals

Goal 1: Equipping Lay Leaders

The Synod will be seen as leading and providing networks through which lay leaders will be more highly equipped for leadership within their congregations, be more effective in their communities, and thrive in their ministries.

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Goal 2: Raising Up Leaders for Smaller Congregations

Identify and equip fifteen lay leaders to enroll in the TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Leaders) or SAM (Synod Authorized Ministers) program to serve in contexts where the congregation is not able to fund a full-time rostered pastor but still has a desire for mission.

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Goal 3: Strengthening Rostered Ministers

Provide opportunities and support that enables pastors and deacons to be healthy leaders who are growing in their faith and ministry skills, and be identified as such by their congregations.

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Goal 4: Launching New Congregations and Reaching New People

As a Synod, with local congregational partnership, launch two new congregation starts in the next three years.

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Goal 5: Enhancing Worship Practice

Engage all congregations across the Synod to enhance their own worship and music opportunities, and share their resources and knowledge to assist other congregations.

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The base campaign budget allocates an anticipated $1.2 million in support of the goals by the end of 2021. As gifts exceed this amount, more will be invested in lay and rostered leader development allowing for a greater impact in those areas. More rostered minister debt will be eliminated, more congregational leaders equipped, more SAM and TEEM ministers called, and more new congregational starts begun.

Equipping Lay Leaders $240,000 $380,000
Raising Up Leaders for Small Congregations $60,000 $120,000
Strengthening Rostered Leaders $225,000 $370,000
Launching New Congregations and Reaching New People $300,000 $600,000
Enhancing Worship Practice $125,000 $200,000
Sharing with the ELCA for a Fund for Leaders Scholarship $120,000 $200,000
Campaign Costs $130,000 $130,000

“I am very excited to be part of this ministry, and I look forward to partnering together in creating new congregations to proclaim the grace of God in Christ!”

Gifts Needed

To reach the base goal of $1.2 million or the challenge goal of $2 million over the next three years, the following gifts are needed from individuals, whether on their own or part of a cumulative gift from themselves and other members of the congregation.

Base Goal

# of Gifts Value of Gift Running Total
1 $150,000 $150,000
1 $100,000 $250,000
1 $75,000 $325,000
2 $50,000 $425,000
4 $35,000 $565,000
6 $25,000 $715,000
8 $15,000 $835,000
12 $10,000 $955,000
15 $5,000 $1,030,000
35 $2,500 $1,117,500
60 $1,095 $1,183,200
28 $600 $1,200,000
Totals 173 $1,200,000

Challenge Goal

# of Gifts Value of Gift Running Total
1 $200,000 $200,000
1 $150,000 $350,000
2 $100,000 $550,000
2 $75,000 $700,000
4 $50,000 $900,000
6 $35,000 $1,110,000
8 $25,000 $1,310,000
12 $15,000 $1,490,000
24 $10,000 $1,730,000
28 $5,000 $1,870,000
30 $25,000 $1,310,000
40 $1,095 $1,988,800
20 $600 $2,000,800
Totals 178 $2,000,800

Gift Over Time Chart

How a gift over time can really make a difference.

Amount Per Week Amount Per Month Amount Per Year 3-Year Amount
$481 $2,084 $25,000 $75,000
$415 $1,800 $21,600 $75,000
$370 $1,600 $19,200 $57,600
$277 $1,200 $14,400 $43,200
$256 $1,111 $13,332 $39,996
$192 $833 $10,000 $30,000
$160 $694 $8,333 $25,000
$128 $555 $6,666 $20,000
$96 $416 $5,000 $15,000
$64 $277 $3,333 $10,000
$32 $138 $1,667 $5,000
$23 $100 $1,200 $3,600
$12 $50 $600 $1,800
$6.50 $28 $336 $1,000
$3.85 $17 $200 $600

$1 per day for three years is a gift of $1,095.

What Congregations Receive from Participation

As a result of participation in this appeal, congregations will receive:

  • Direct training and mentoring in how to conduct a special gift appeal. The manual provided for this appeal becomes a resource for the congregation’s future stewardship efforts.
  • A focus on education about planned giving, provided during the year after the Thrive! campaign, that teaches congregational members why and how to impart a planned gift to the congregation and/or other ministries of the church, through the donor’s estate.
  • Training in the final year of the campaign in how to convert special gifts for this effort to regular, ongoing support of the congregation and these shared ministry opportunities.
  • Because the campaign effort trains lay and rostered leaders in resource development, the campaign itself assists in implementing the primary goals of the projects from the appeal.

“Training from the Synod for lay leaders would be a huge blessing for me. To be successful at any new job/position training is critical. Training offered from the Synod would be a welcome guide for me, to hopefully be able to do my best when asked to serve the congregation.”

For more information contact Campaign Manager, Pastor Larry Donner, by completing the form below.