The Abundance of Our Faith/Stewardship Services (Just in Time)

Giving, Leadership, Resource Review, Stewardship, Worship
The Abundance of Our Faith: Award-Winning Sermons on Giving edited by Terry Sweetser and Susan Milnor (Skinner House Books, 2006) Stewardship Services (Just in Time) by David N. Mosser (Abingdon Press, 2007) Reviewed by David F. Johnson, retired associate for stewardship resources for the Presbyterian Church (USA) These two books help answer a question that I frequently received from pastors while I served on my denomination’s stewardship staff: “Where can I find sample sermons on stewardship?” The books don’t quite answer a second question I often heard—“How do I find lectionary sermons on stewardship?”—but they are useful all the same. Each makes a different contribution to the practice of preaching, teaching, and thankful giving in worship. Stewardship Services (Just in Time) has worship material as well as sermon briefs on…
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Fund Raising Realities Every Board Member Must Face: A One-Hour Crash Course on Raising Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations

Fund Raising Realities Every Board Member Must Face: A One-Hour Crash Course on Raising Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations

Fundraising, Resource Review
by David Lansdowne (Emerson & Church Publishers, 2007) Review by David F. Johnson, retired associate for stewardship resources for the Presbyterian Church (USA) Fundraising in the church mostly turns me off. The reason? I feel that giving to the church should be a natural response to the free gift of grace given to us by God. The problem with this is that generosity is not that simple. I suspect most church members are still not fully convinced of God’s grace. That’s an enormous generality, but it may explain why church leaders need the advice of an expert on fundraising. What I found helpful in this book were the necessary prerequisites that must be in place if a fund drive is to be successful. These prerequisites should be present in a…
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Stewardship in African-American Churches: A New Paradigm

Stewardship in African-American Churches: A New Paradigm

Congregations, Giving, Resource Review
by Melvin Amerson (Upper Room Books, 2006) Review by Stephanie Jackson, associate for congregational leadership, Office of Spiritual Formation, Presbyterian Church (USA) In Stewardship in African-American Churches: A New Paradigm, Melvin Amerson reminds us of the creative ways African-American congregations started out supporting themselves. Even though money was scarce, the desire to give was generous. Women of the church were most active in raising funds. Their example sets a precedent and a challenge for today’s African-American congregations. Amerson gives an interesting interpretation of giving based on whether a church is conservative, moderate, or liberal. While this information is not conclusive, it does inspire the reader to review his or her understanding of Scripture, theological perspective, and level of giving. Church leaders are encouraged to help members connect faith and money…
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