StewardShift: An Economia for Congregational Change

StewardShift: An Economia for Congregational Change

Holistic, Resource Review, Stewardship
252 pages StewardShift: An Economia for Congregational Change by Bob Sitze is more than a breath of fresh air; it’s a much-needed alternate viewpoint on the practice of stewardship. Full of descriptive suggestions and reflective questions, it points to “stewardship wisdom” currently being explored and experienced outside the church. God’s revelation is open-ended, the book says, and is not limited to insights within religious institutions. Many stewardship experts teach about “holistic stewardship” employed in every dimension of life. But instead of the more common look at life through a stewardship lens, Sitze points out specific stewardship practices in different secular arenas: individual areas of human enterprise where we can find “stewardship wisdom.” He provides glimpses into seven aspects of secular discovery. These are invitations for the reader to reflect on them in light of our scriptural norm for living. Stewardship is richer and fuller than we ever thought it…
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Reflections on Faith and Finances

Reflections on Faith and Finances

Biblical, Giving, Resource Review, Stewardship
by Charles Lane 40 pages In this brief and tangible guide, Lane shares practical and helpful tools on understanding our relationship between our faith and finances. He pulls from his book Ask, Thank, Tell and cuts to the chase in this small, yet poignant reflection. Beginning with a universal definition of “gift”, he explores how by its very definition, our ability to have feeling or judgment of how gifts are to be used is removed once we relinquish ownership. Quickly he moves to clarify that it’s not that way with God … at all. In fact, “God continues to own everything.” Lane goes on to biblically make the argument for the importance of Christian stewardship. He wastes no time drawing modern day parallels and raising questions on how we choose to use our resources. He closes with the Portrait of…
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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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The Passionate Steward: Recovering Christian Stewardship from Secular Fundraising

The Passionate Steward: Recovering Christian Stewardship from Secular Fundraising

Resource Review, Stewardship
Michael O’Hurley-Pitts: St. Brigid Press, 2001 “Secular fundraising models… fundamentally undermine the Christian values we profess individually and communally…[Stewardship is] a matter of living out our vocation as Christians,… not grounded in…individual rights, but in the idea of gratitude for our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer and the inherent dignity which belongs to every human being” (p. 8). O’Hurley-Pitts lists many differences between Christian stewardship and secular fundraising (pp. 59-60), but his main points are these: All gifts, whatever the size, are important. Emphasizing leadership gifts or major gifts subtly tells everyone else that they are not important. Christians give for the joy of giving, not in order to be praised. Christian donors do not have a bill of rights promising that they will be complimented. Time is our most valuable…
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Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity

Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity

Resource Review, Stewardship
Clayton Smith, Abingdon, 2015 You’ll get down-to-earth guidance in Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity. Author Clayton Smith is executive pastor of generosity at the Church of the Resurrection United Methodist Church, a vanguard in generosity ministry. This slim-but-packed book is a training and planning tool for your local church stewardship and generosity team, finance committee, and related groups. Smith says it’s crucial to focus clearly on financial stewardship. Only as people overcome their money fears can they grow in giving, experiencing it as a joyful act of worship. The first task of a stewardship and generosity team is to teach ways members can practice better financial stewardship of their own resources, says Smith. This includes how to manage their money better; eliminate personal debt and practice budgeting; and tithe, become…
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Embracing Stewardship: How to Put Stewardship at the Heart of Your Congregation’s Life

Embracing Stewardship: How to Put Stewardship at the Heart of Your Congregation’s Life

Resource Review, Stewardship
Charles R. Lane and Grace Duddy Pomroy, Embracing Stewardship LLC, 2016 Embracing Stewardship is an excellent resource encouraging the church to recapture the true meaning of not just the word but the concept of Christian stewardship. Ms. Pomroy is financial education specialist for Portico Benefit Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Rev. Charles Lane has served as the Director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and as Director for Stewardship Key Leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He currently serves as Pastor for Stewardship and Generosity at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, MN, and works with Kairos and Associates. The authors come at the definition from different but complementary viewpoints. Each begins with a theological perspective. The first two…
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Beyond Stewardship: A Church Guide to Generous Giving Campaigns

Beyond Stewardship: A Church Guide to Generous Giving Campaigns

Giving, Resource Review, Stewardship
John Zehring and Kate Jagger, Judson Press, 2016 Beyond Stewardship: A Church Guide to Generous Giving Campaigns is a hands-on text filled with practical advice for an extensive annual stewardship program, including financial commitments to God’s work through the church. The book gives a two-pronged approach. First, it stresses a theological emphasis on abundance instead of scarcity. Second, it uses the most fruitful practices from effective fund-raising. On the theological side, authors Zehring and Jagger prompt church leaders to shift from talking about a stewardship campaign to a “generous giving ministry” and switch from talking about the church’s needs to how the church meets people’s needs. They emphasize raising givers more than raising funds and involve a large number of people in the process. What makes this book distinctive is…
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Biblical Stewardship: Our Duty and Delight

Biblical Stewardship: Our Duty and Delight

Biblical, Resource Review, Stewardship
With Mark Allan Powell, Select Learning This DVD, with accompanying study guide, explores stewardship from a biblical perspective, meaning all we have and hold belongs to God. It serves as an introduction of stewardship concepts for church leaders and stewardship committees and helps congregational members explore being stewards in a broad sense. The DVD’s introduction for church leaders and six sessions (each approximately twenty minutes long) feature biblical and personal stories and illustrations that bring being a steward to life. The accompanying study guide encourages participants to go deeper by reflecting on how being a steward takes shape in their daily lives. Powell’s approach to being a steward uses three principles that bring focus to congregational stewardship: focus more on living than giving—God cares how we acquire, regard, manage, and…
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Stewardship in the Small Membership Congregation

Stewardship in the Small Membership Congregation

Congregations, Resource Review, Stewardship
by Clark Hargus, Ecumenical Stewardship Center, digital version, 2012 The other day I came across an old and generous friend in a new format: the ESC digital version of Stewardship in the Small Membership Congregation. This is a resource that had given me a lot of traction in stewardship work twenty years ago. For Clark Hargus, a small membership congregation is one with an average worship attendance of less than one hundred. When this resource was first produced that might have meant that you were talking about only rural or small town congregations. That’s not the case anymore. Hargus’s basic premise is that in order “to do effective stewardship work in a small membership congregation, the activity should be Bible based, enjoyable, relational, practical and specific.” This is Stewardship 101.…
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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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