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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Today, June 28, is John Wesley’s birthday. With all the brouhaha among United Methodists lately, I’ve been thinking about what makes Methodists. We know the term was first used in derision: “those method-ists, who always have a method for everything!” But what is the spirit that John Wesley tapped into, that continues to ignite and…

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“Mission” is one of those words often used in the Church, but without a clear meaning. The term can be a cover-up for all kinds of religious activities. But mission is more than a name or a program. It’s a calling and a passion. An individual’s personal mission is what he or she is meant…

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Thanksgiving was a big deal in my growing-up family, since we’re Mayflower descendants. So Mom would pull out all the stops, and we kids helped in the preparations, as well. But no matter how people approach Thanksgiving, getting ready for that holiday can involve some special recipes or once-a-year dishes we save for that one…

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Most of us have heard of a Director of Planned Giving in a foundation, but how about one for a local church? I was pleased to meet Pat Lile shortly after she was named Director of Planned Giving in 2010 for First United Methodist Church in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. In a position funded by…

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God calls us to be stewards not only of our personal relationships, but also of our communities, which ultimately can affect justice on a national, even world-wide, scale. In these turbulent political days, I am grateful for people who speak up publicly in a variety of ways, because of their faith. Today is the day…

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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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What a gift it is to meet and share with colleagues across the U.S. and Canada through the “Stewardship and Culture” online course! One of the topics in our most recent conference call was about churches that are not tied to a specific church building but are literally “on the move” in the community. One…

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Based on “Growing Generosity: Identity as Stewards in the United Church of Canada,” a 2009 United Church of Canada study, by Barbara Fullerton What best practices in the local church correlate with increased financial giving? A six-year study of the congregations in the United Church of Canada revealed six essential behaviors: 1. Operational management with…

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What are youth learning about healthy money habits from the adults around them? How can local churches help shape young people’s financial values? The issue is urgent, and some churches are stepping up to the task. Take Christ Church in Richmond, Virginia, for example. To grow generosity among their members, they knew they needed to…

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What would it take to help your congregation develop a plan for cultivating generosity year-round? The East Ohio United Methodist Foundation has created an incentive for local churches in its conference, called the Five Star Stewardship Award. “The important thing is not to compete with other churches or gain a certain number of points, but…

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“We all have challenges to body and soul. While we cannot control every factor in our lives, we can make choices that support health and move us closer to the abundant life God intends for us . . . .” With these words, the Rev. Odette Lockwood-Stewart, pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church in Berkeley,…

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