Stewardship Ministry in the Local Church

Volunteers Benefit, Too

We’ve known for a long time that volunteering doesn’t only help the people where you donate your time. But now it’s been proven to benefit the volunteer in a whole slew of ways. And it’s not just an attitude difference, either. In an article called “The Generosity Effect,” 1 researchers reported a number of positive…

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Faith-Based Budgeting, Part 1

Many churches are confirming their budgets now for the year ahead, using the term “faith budget.” In my congregation that means the leaders include a percentage of projected income beyond pledges, to allow for loose-plate offerings, new givers, or second-mile giving. In most situations, it’s a realistic and encouraging thing to do. “Faith-based budgeting” is…

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Rescuers

There have been so many natural disasters these recent months that it’s hard not to lose hope, even as we pray for the people and animals in harm’s way from fires, hurricanes, and floods. But I do see hope, in the response of so many rescuers – many of them strangers – who are coming…

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Seven Attributes of Generous Churches

Patrick Johnson has worked with innovative U.S. churches for almost ten years, seeking to answer the question, “What does it take to create a culture of generosity in a local church?” In “Seven Attributes of a Generous Church,”1 he names seven common characteristics he has discovered. The more generous congregations he has encountered: 1. Are…

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Generous Stewards — Compassionate and Caring

     I listened to a fascinating TED Talk on National Public Radio about compassion a while ago.1 It featured political analyst Sally Cone, and journalist Christa Tippet. “Compassion [is] the ability to appreciate and respect another person’s viewpoint, even if it isn’t your own,” said Cone. It includes communicating that your feelings are valid, and…

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Generous Stewards — Collaborative and Collegial

             Generous stewards often seem to interact and engage in ministry through networks of diverse folks – more like being part of a movement than a single organization. For example: Cooking Up English, in Austin, TX, is a local church ministry that uses cooking to help non-English speakers learn more about the language, while building…

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Generous Stewards — Cooperative and Connectional

I got to thinking: What are the primary attributes of generous stewards, as they manage, share and use the gifts God has entrusted to them? For me, it comes down to four sets of “C”s. The first set is “cooperative and connectional.” Generous stewards tend to choose connection over competition with others. An intriguing article…

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Generous Stewards — Curious and Creative

Who knew that curiosity might have anything to do with stewardship? I hadn’t thought about it that way. But some scientific studies approach curiosity not as a predilection or character trait, but as a behavior. As such, it shows our “stewardship of attention” 1 – how we choose to pay attention to certain people and…

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A Thank You Plan

Saying thank you is often a spontaneous thing. When someone does something for us, especially unasked for or at a cost to themselves, we naturally want to thank them, in words, by doing something for them, or by “paying it forward:” giving in some way to others. Most people don’t give in order to be…

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What Makes a Ministry Trustworthy?

When people want to give to a ministry to improve people’s lives, they need to know they can trust that organization to follow-through in the ways they promised. But how can they know your church or other nonprofit organization is doing the right things with the money they have given? The answer includes not only…

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