Anglican Stewardship Association
What we mean by
The FULL MEASURE Project©
ASA believes that there are no passengers in the Kingdom of God. We encourage people to think of themselves as being the church rather than supporting it. For some, this is a new concept of life together as the family of God.The FULL MEASURE Project© aims to:
There are three stages to the Project and an ASA Project Director guides the church through each one. The third stage is ongoing. It is a network of Pastoral Link visits so that everyone's views can be heard, concerns are shared and closer fellowship is forged in mutual care and prayer.
Once a year church members renew their giving of money and commit their decision in worship during a Thanksgiving Sunday Service. Between these annual Thanksgiving Sundays a special Pastoral Link Service takes place when all the parish's pastoral work is celebrated and Pastoral Link Visitors are commissioned for the year ahead.
This pattern becomes the basis for the church's life and worship. In time, members who are receiving regular visits may themselves become visitors. As this begins to happen, the church is in a stronger position to open up avenues for those who have less regular contact to become more closely involved.
Anglican Stewardship Association delivers:
We are a four church, three PCC benefice. We decided from the outset to run the project on a benefice-wide basis. We appointed our lay chairman (the project is meant to be lay-led) and our team leaders and then about twenty pastoral link visitors.
The ASA provided expert help and in the intensive part of the project the consultant lived in the benefice for two weeks, directing with skill, grace and good humour. The Association is a non-profit making organisation. We were charged £3,000 for the project, with a guarantee that if giving was not increased by that amount in the first year, a refund1 would be made.
So, to October 2000, when we launched Full Measure with Thanksgiving Sunday, in which most regular worshippers participated. Up until that day, the pledged annual income throughout the benefice had been a little over £17,000. After that day it was nearly £31,000, a staggering 74% increase. On Thanksgiving Sunday 2001 we had the magnificent response of a 13% increase, so from an annual income of about £17,000 in 2000 we are looking forward to an income in 2002 of £35,000.2
Our pastoral link goes from strength to strength and we have had to recruit a number of new visitors. Some lovely friendships have developed between them and the people they visit, so that a faith community network is being steadily built up, as the project intends. The fellowship of the benefice is growing and our benefice service and lunches are not only well attended but are also becoming important to many of our people. Of course, Full Measure has not found favour with everyone, especially those for whom their parish church is of all importance.
Out of the pastoral link has come a network of people willing to do all sorts of work and service throughout the community, so many that we are embarrassed at not being able to use all offers.
Full Measure is based on a very different philosophy from normal fundraising. It is grounded in the idea that because all of life, all that we are, all that we have, are from God, out of thanksgiving for that generous and outrageous love we should return to Him for use in His church meaningful amounts of money and service. It was challenging, and at times scary, but it is of God and therefore could not fail.
Revd. David Maudlin, Radwinter and the Sampfords
1The Anglican Stewardship Association's form of agreement with a church undertakes that, if the annual direct giving of the church does not increase by the amount of the fees and costs payable under the agreement, the deficit will be refunded provided that the church has fully carried out the project.
2Since this article was written, projected income for 2003 is £42,000.