Leadership and Extravagant Giving

Leadership and Extravagant Giving

General
As I visit congregations to encourage growth in financial giving, I often encounter two responses. The first is, “Don’t forget the importance of gifts of time and talent.” And the second: “But this congregation is already giving as much as it can.” My heart sinks when these evasions of the challenge to grow are put forth by the pastor. I know then that it is unlikely that the congregation will ever be able to break free from the seductive myth of scarcity. It takes a strong spiritual leader to guide people out of resistance and reluctance into the delicious freedom of God’s abundance. The truest mark of a mature faith leader and community is a life of extravagant giving. There are many reasons why it is difficult for pastors to…
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2015 Leadership Seminar Features Shane Claiborne and Kelly Johnson

2015 Leadership Seminar Features Shane Claiborne and Kelly Johnson

General
"Where Your Treasure Is: Christians and Wealth in North America" is the theme for the 2015 Ecumenical Stewardship Center Leadership Seminar which will take place December 2-4, 2015 at the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. Leadership Seminar explores trending topics in current culture and their implications for stewardship and generosity. Those who attend Leadership Seminar can expect to engage with plenary speakers and with each other in thought-provoking and challenging dialog. Since statistics show that by 2020 the richest 1% of the population will control 54% of the world's wealth, that persons in Canada and the US have more than a third of the world's wealth, and that the percentage of giving has been stagnant at approximately 2% for US and Canadian citizens for decades with…
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Registration Opens for Holistic Stewardship Online Course

General
Click here for complete information about "Holistic Stewardship". Registration is now open for the Holistic Stewardship online course taught by Ms. Sandy Lindahl, commissioned minister for holistic stewardship in the United Church of Christ and Principal and Lead Consultant at Lindahl Consultants. The course is jointly offered by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and TransformingTheChurch.org. This class illuminates the reach of stewardship practices far into our personal and societal lives. Holistic Stewardship involves recognizing our choices and making decisions that contribute to the wholeness of our lives and those of others, even of all Creation.  Moving beyond the traditional questions of using our "time, talent and treasure" this content raises questions about cultural assumptions, compares economic models, and considers the global implications of personal and communal decisions. "The nature of enough"…
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Registration Opens for Theological Principles of Stewardship Online Course

General
Click here for complete information about "Theological Principles of Stewardship". Registration is now open for the Theological Principles of Stewardship online course, jointly offered by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and transformingthechurch.org. Rev. Dr. Joshua Brockway, a member of denominational staff for spiritual life and discipleship for the Church of the Brethren, is the instructor. The Theological Principles of Stewardship course includes six audio-graphic video lessons that students can view at their convenience and interaction through three live conference calls and online discussion forums. The Theological Principles of Stewardship course approaches stewardship as a practice of our discipleship. Reading through the biblical imagery about stewardship reveals that our task is much more than just creating a balanced budget. From beginning to end, the imagery of stewardship is cast within the relationship…
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