What Do I Owe? Managing the Gifts God Gives You

What Do I Owe? Managing the Gifts God Gives You

Devotional, Resource Review, Stewardship
by Rolf Bouma Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-59255-474-4 How can we say thank you to God? Campus pastor Rolf Bouma shows how in his new 118-page devotional study guide, What Do I Owe? Managing the Gifts God Gives You. People tend to think of stewardship primarily in financial terms, but as Bouma demonstrates, money is only one of the gifts God gives us to manage. The book’s five main study themes include: “Thinking It Through,” “Stewarding Time,” “Stewarding Money,” “Stewarding Creation,” and “The Challenges of Stewardship.” What Do I Owe? can be used as a personal devotional or a group study guide. It includes five daily readings a week for five weeks. The readings correspond with five discussion guides with opening and closing activities, Bible study and reflection…
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Whose Offering Plate Is It? New Strategies for Financial Stewardship

Whose Offering Plate Is It? New Strategies for Financial Stewardship

Giving, Resource Review
by J. Clif Christopher, Abingdon Press, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-4267-1013-1 In this book J. Clif Christopher builds on an earlier one he wrote titled Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate. Christopher elaborates on many of the standard ways that the church raises money by exploring currently accepted stewardship practices. This part of the book is excellent, but the information presented isn’t all that new. The strength of this small book is its discussion of one of the most thorny issues that has been debated recently: Should the pastor know what the members of the congregation give? Christopher’s answer is yes, and he explores his answer and the debate from various points of view in several chapters. The challenge, as he sees it, is how the pastor and church go about making sharing…
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“Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving” Planning Kit

“Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving” Planning Kit

Devotional, Giving, Resource Review
by Michael Reeves and Jennifer Tyler, Abingdon Press, 2011, UPC: 843504019143 This planning kit is a helpful, comprehensive, four-week program for an annual financial emphasis that is focused on our faithful response to God. The kit provides resources and guidance for all stages of a financial emphasis, from making the decision to hold one to implementing this four-week emphasis on generosity. It includes weekly worship themes and sermon outlines along with sample letters and a daily devotional. Also included are resources for adults, youth, and children that are adaptable depending on the technical capabilities of a congregation. The objective of the program is, over time, to change the culture in a church so that generosity becomes a core value of discipleship and individual spiritual experience. “Extravagant Generosity” is built on…
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The Star Book for Stewardship

The Star Book for Stewardship

Biblical, Leadership, Money management, Resource Review, Stewardship
by Clifford A. Jones Sr., Judson Press, 2011, ISBN: 0817016651 In a time of economic uncertainty for many local congregations comes a book that, according to its author, is “intended as a practical guide to personal and institutional stewardship.” Clifford Jones writes with clarity about ways to flesh out stewardship scripturally within the realm of pastor as preacher and teacher, pragmatically for the person in the pew, sharing practices for sound personal financial management, in worship settings with a variety of personal testimonies, and emphasizing the importance of the local church being a good steward. In this last section, space is given to understanding stewardship beyond finances to the act of advocacy on behalf of those with limited resources. This is a welcome book for any pastor looking to enhance…
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Giving and Receiving

Giving and Receiving

General
Jane is a university student--that's another way to spell "poor." She has very little left over at the end of a week, perhaps enough for a modest night out with friends. Food, textbooks, and laundry are the extent of her budget. On Sunday night Jane regularly heads home to mooch off Mom's table-it's better than paying for bland residence food. And besides, Dad always slips her a "loan," a small gift of money to ease the tension of higher learning. On one of her weekend pilgrimages to that Sabbath celebration, Jane had stopped to fill up her thirsty car at a local gas station that was holding a promotion: buy thirty litres and get your name entered automatically in a drawing for a shopping spree in the mall across the…
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A Parable of the Servant Steward

A Parable of the Servant Steward

General
At the conclusion of the Red River floods, an elderly couple returned to their home once the waters had receded, as the sun was sinking over the horizon. Their farm had been inundated with water to the eaves troughs. Machinery was hopelessly corroded; seed grains were soggy and useless; livestock was lost; household goods were mildewed beyond recognition; the insurance policy was swamped. No coverage could replace what thev had lost. Though they had grown up in Christian homes, neither was particularly religious. They weren't angry dissenters or well-versed atheists. Church life had drifted away over the years like the little puffs of topsoil from their fields. No excuse, no great avalanche of animosity, just a steady decline. There was neither need nor reason to take it seriously. God had…
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