I was thrilled to receive Live Courageously, this year’s issue of Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation, from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center.  In addition to a center section Leader’s Guide for an annual financial commitment program based on small groups, it includes “Bright Spot” stories celebrating real people practicing faithful stewardship and generosity, book reviews, and holistic resources in a new, helpful format for local church ministry.

Live Courageously is packed with stewardship articles from a variety of fresh angles, highlighting how to claim our courage to:

  • Take a risk to trust in God’s promises for our personal future,
  • Be a parent of young children, letting them take gradual stewardship responsibility from age four on,
  • Guide a young pastor in his or her personal giving journey,
  • Talk about money, challenging the false relationship between wealth and blessing,
  • Talk with our kids about money, including saying no with an explanation that teaches good stewardship,
  • Encourage great stewardship in youth, inviting them to follow their gifts with personal involvement,
  • Ask for money for our ministry without begging or apology,
  • Read the Bible through a new lens of generosity,
  • Change our initial dream and take a stand for higher human values, and
  • Encourage specific acts of generosity in our congregation’s life year round.

This issue is one of a four-year series based on 1 Timothy 6:18-19, where we’re invited to “take hold of the life that really is life.” The other three issues are Live Free, Live Simply, and Live Generously. As evergreen resources, they can be used anytime. They include theme materials such as bulletin inserts, commitment cards, and worship-starter videos. A companion resource also is available with more materials on the theme for worship and study. To order or learn more, click on the Ecumenical Stewardship Center.

Your partner in ministry,
Betsy Schwarzentraub