A Theology for Christian Stewardship

A Theology for Christian Stewardship

Holistic, Resource Review
A. Kantonen, Muhlenberg Press, 1956 I took some time to revisit an old friend recently. A Theology for Christian Stewardship by T. A. Kantonen was part of the bibliography for my doctoral research in the late 1980s. Published in 1956, it is a classic. As I re-read the book, I was struck that all the stewardship principles I have learned over the course of more than 26 years of stewardship ministry are summarized here in a mid-twentieth century treatise. Those principles were all unpacked for me some thirty years ago in a concise but thorough exposition of biblical theology specific to the topic of stewardship. Kantonen (1900-1993) was a Harvard-educated theologian who, at age three emigrated with his family from Finland to the United States. In a succinct manner, he…
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Contagious Generosity: Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Church

Contagious Generosity: Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Church

Giving, Resource Review
Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard Zondervan, 2012 Contagious Generosity: Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Church is a treasure chest of congregational practices related to giving that really work. Written by Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard, it offers high-impact examples from top churches in The Leadership Network, arising out of their Generous Church Leadership Community. The authors begin by defining generosity as “a lifestyle in which we share all that we have, are, and ever will become as a demonstration of God’s love and a response to God’s grace” (p. 18). Intentionally limiting their conversation to stewardship of money and finances, they explore learnings and practices at the intersection of church development— where the church’s culture provides the permission system for giving—and leadership development, including leveraging weekend worship experiences,…
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What Do I Own and What Owns Me? A Spirituality of Stewardship

What Do I Own and What Owns Me? A Spirituality of Stewardship

Resource Review, Stewardship
By Daniel Conway, Twenty-Third Publications, 2008, Third Printing Stewardship is a source of deepening spirituality and grace, says Daniel Conway, when it helps us develop a lifestyle of growth in gratitude, generosity, sharing, and responsibility. In What Do I Own and What Owns Me?, Conway sets stewardship within the context of discipleship. He prompts readers to ask themselves two fundamental questions: “What do I own?” – I can consider the three most significant spiritual gifts God has given me and also my most prized material possessions. “What owns me?” – Have I completely surrendered my life and will to God, or am I holding back? This down-to-earth book contains plenty of nuggets to ponder and apply to our way of living, including the following: The rich and the comfortable may…
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Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving

Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving

Giving, Resource Review
By Stephen Post, PhD, and Jill Neimark, Broadway Books, 2007 “Giving is good medicine,” say Stephen Post and Jill Neimark, authors of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by the Simple Act of Giving. It is an exciting book that reveals research results of physical, mental and emotional links between doing good and living longer, healthier, and happier lives. This book is packed with surprising findings from serious scientific studies that “demonstrate the power of unselfish love to enhance health,” recording positive benefits of a generous way of life. Key studies give stunning results. For example, after sifting out other factors, one five-year study of almost 2,000 people over the age of fifty-five found that those who volunteered in two or…
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