Original concept & design developed by Greg Penna
Revisions & Strategic Plan by Bobby Gilstrap
Any church or family can afford to support a church plant. Most churches can afford to be the sole sponsor of a church plant if they will engage their member’s hearts into church planting and use a strategy that is proven to work. Of course, there will be members who will see sponsorship as an impossible venture because “the church is barely meeting budget, and there is the debt to pay off, plus we already give so much.” However, a pastor-leader who is a true visionary with a heart for planting churches can have major success through a stewardship emphasis called 5/52.
What is 5/52?
5/52 is a stewardship emphasis, over and above the tithe, in which the congregation simply is asked to give $5 a week for 52 weeks. It has a huge success rate because the pastor is only asking a family to give $5 per week. Now in almost any American home, $5 is not something that will cause the family to suffer. Because the pastor is asking for so little, the membership is quick to embrace the new stewardship effort.
5/52 Pays Off Several Huge Dividends
1. First, it’s a great way to raise money. Five dollars a week over 52 weeks turns out to be a gift of $260. This is an amount many people wouldn’t ordinarily give to church planting except through this type of installment plan.
2. A second benefit of 5/52 is the high level of participation. In the church where this emphasis was used to raise money to sponsor a new work, they experienced over 70 percent participation from the church family.
5/52 works because of the power of weekly giving.
Here is why it works for just one year:
- 25 people commit $5.00 per week for one year = $6,500 in support.
- 50 people commit $5.00 per week for one year = $13,000 in support.
- 75 people commit $5.00 per week for one year = $19,500 in support.
- 100 people commit $5.00 per week for one year = $26,000 in support.
- 200 people commit $5.00 per week for one year = $52,000 in support.
The beauty of 5/52 is that it is an annual commitment, with those funds coming in each year as long as the new work needs funds or as long as the congregation has a passion for new church starts.
5/52: Just the Beginning
While the power of weekly giving from just 200 people is truly amazing, what is even more amazing is what can be raised leading up to and including the 5/52 commitment Sunday.
5/52 works best as a total stewardship program through which people are taught to give over and above the tithe for the purpose of planting new churches. It is a time of vision casting by the pastor that can lead to greater gifts in enlisting the people to sacrifice for the material needs of the new church and preparing the people’s hearts for a cash offering on the day they make the commitment to 5/52.
With proper vision casting about the new church and how it will be funded — through a weekly sacrifice everyone can afford — the pastor needs to let the people know what the costs will be for the church start. Planting a church today can quickly run into several hundred thousand dollars in just a few years by the time rent, salary, community and media awareness, evangelistic activities, and church needs are all considered.
Why Churches Should Use 5/52
There isn’t anything magical or mystical about 5/52. As a matter of fact, it has its roots in the sports world, where a coach of a major football team told the alumni he could produce a better team if they would each give so many dollars a week for 50 weeks. From there, it was successfully used to fund the need for dollars for church planters rose, we began to wonder whether it could be used to plant churches, and God has blessed us.
Five dollars a week can’t do much on its own, but when combined with a mighty number of passionate people, it can change the world.