Written for Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation, Vol. 22, No. 1, By the Ecumenical Stewardship Center The roots of generosity are in habits of the heart, not in one’s bank balance, says Herb Miller,1  recognized authority in church effectiveness. His assertion is as true related to major gift donors as it is of…

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How can we help our local church become more generous – understood in the full biblical sense – as a group of Jesus’ disciples? Stewardship coach Michael Reeves says that a biblically generous church teaches stewardship of all dimensions of our lives as part of the church’s training of its members. Holistic stewardship is part…

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What core stewardship practices can become part of the DNA of our congregations? As we come to see stewardship as a whole-life endeavor, we need to develop a stewardship strategy, including measures of success, with a clear connection to all that we do as a church. Remember that stewardship is whatever we do with all…

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What core actions can a congregation encourage to become generous as a faith community? Stewardship teacher Michael Reeves put together an eye-opening list that can serve as our guide and goal. These “attributes of a biblically generous church” point to how faithful stewardship and generous-hearted living can be seen as whole-life issues, part of that…

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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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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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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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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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     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 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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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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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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