The Shepherd’s Guide through the Valley of Debt and Financial Change

The Shepherd’s Guide through the Valley of Debt and Financial Change

Leadership, Resource Review
By Flora Williams This volume, which does seem as long and big as its title, is a reference book. It deals with almost any financial question that a pastor or other counselor might meet in dealing with a parishioner or client. The author—a retired Purdue University professor, counselor, and Church of the Brethren pastor—has observed that many—perhaps most—pastors are not equipped, and do not feel equipped, to deal with financial issues when counseling. (A recent Pew Research Center survey indicates many parishioners agree). Flora Williams wants to change that. I see two reasons why some pastors might raise questions about this book. First, Williams is theologically conservative, and some paragraphs are close to preaching. Some pastors prefer to keep their theology and their financial counseling separate. But this should not…
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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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Ministry and Money: A Practical Guide for Pastors

Ministry and Money: A Practical Guide for Pastors

Biblical, Leadership, Resource Review
By Janet T. Jamieson and Philip D. Jamieson, Westminster John Knox Press, 2009, ISBN: 978-0-664-231 This book gave my seminary students the best basic orientation to stewardship leadership I have found. One student who recognized its value said, “I am putting this book at a convenient place on my shelf.” 98-9 The authors begin with a reflection on the problem of money, explore history and Scripture, and engage in the formation of a theology of money. They continue by giving tools to interpret and develop congregational and personal practices that are theologically congruent. The book ends by pointing toward pastoral practices that expand the conversation about money to all of life. Review by Jerry Hoffman, director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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The Stewardship Companion: Lectionary Resources for Preaching

The Stewardship Companion: Lectionary Resources for Preaching

Leadership, Resource Review, Stewardship
by David N. Mosser (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) Many preachers have been waiting for a book like this. In fact, they have already made it a best seller, or so it seems. David Mosser had the idea of writing a contemporary book about preaching biblical texts from a stewardship perspective. With a good knowledge of their readership, the editors at Westminster John Knox Press suggested that he write it around the Revised Common Lectionary. What a good idea! During the time this reviewer was involved with the creation of stewardship resources at the Presbyterian Church (USA), we received many requests for such a book. This is not a book of sermons, nor should it be. David Mosser provides a little over a page of thoughts on the scriptures for…
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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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The Multigenerational Congregation

Congregations, Leadership, Resource Review
by Gil Rendle (Alban Institute, 2002) This book touches on issues important to how we do stewardship in today’s church, though it doesn’t specifically address stewardship in the church. Whether we established leaders or our church members like it or not, the cultural landscape has changed, and it affects how we do church and stewardship. Rendle’s book, The Multigenerational Congregation, focuses on this generational division and speaks to how a multigenerational membership is possible in a church. Rendle takes conflict between the generations as a given and helps leaders manage it. His introduction gives us a graphic picture of the generational battle: Say, for example, you are responsible for training and supervising the acolytes at your church. The older members pull you aside to point out that the teenagers who…
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A Step at a Time: Growing Givers through Stewardship Letters

A Step at a Time: Growing Givers through Stewardship Letters

Congregations, Leadership, Resource Review, Stewardship
by Glenn L. Borreson (Lima, Ohio: CSS Publishing Company, Inc., 2001), ISBN: 0-7880-1847-7, 55 pp., $10.95US/$16CDN. Review by Michael Meier, director for leadership development with the Stewardship Team of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Division for Congregational Ministries and Giving's resource review editor Glenn Borreson has written a short, practical guide for a stewardship response program using personal letters from pastors to congregational members. The program targets various levels of giving and tailors letters to each group of givers. The letters are further personalized based on the pastors' personal knowledge of the persons to whom they are sent. The book includes sample letters that are gracious and invitational along with a clear straightforward explanation of the structure of each letter. It also provides follow-up letters, a timeline, and a…
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Growing Up Generous: Engaging Youth in Giving and Serving

Growing Up Generous: Engaging Youth in Giving and Serving

Children, Giving, Leadership, Resource Review
by Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Elanah Dalyah Naftali, and Laura Musegades (The Alban Institute, 2000), ISBN: 1-56699-238-9, 197 pp., $17.95US/$26CDN. Review by Michael Meier, director for leadership development with the Stewardship Team of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Division for Congregational Ministries and Giving's resource review editor This positive and encouraging study examines giving and serving in a broad range of Jewish and Christian traditions. It has several graphs and charts that help the reader visualize what is being described. It begins by discussing the importance of nurturing generosity as a way of life, particularly among young people during adolescence. It emphasizes that nurture is the responsibility of the whole congregation, not just youth workers, and deals directly with the opportunities and challenges of such work. Two significant chapters delve…
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Speaking of Stewardship: Model Sermons on Money and Possessions

Speaking of Stewardship: Model Sermons on Money and Possessions

Leadership, Resource Review, Stewardship
edited by William G. Carter. (Geneva Press: Louisville, 1998), ISBN 0664500315, 137 pp. $20 US Review by Juanita Weaver, an adjunct professor of speech communication at Temple University and a consultant for The Giving Project: Growing Faithful Stewards in the Church William Carter is pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Clark Summit, Pennsylvania, and trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary. As general editor of this book, he collected twenty-three sermons addressing a variety of stewardship topics. The book is a helpful guide for preachers wanting to preach on the topic of stewardship as an integral part of Christian discipleship. This not only includes the need to fund God's work, but even more importantly to make stewardship a daily concern in the lives of a faith community that lives in an age of…
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