Congregational Stewardship

Mike Bryant Turquoise fired wash basin and bowl

Helping Children Be Thankful

By kebeb218 | July 15, 2020

Almost every parent has been there: pressuring their young child to write the obligatory thank-notes to Aunt Charlotte and the next-door neighbor after Christmas or their birthday. But does sending those notes under mild duress make your kids really feel grateful? The fact is: we cannot make children be thankful. We can only make them…

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Living from the Heart

By kebeb218 | June 22, 2020

“To speak of the heart is not to sentimentalize but to ensoul,” says author Thomas Moore. “There is a toughness and intelligence about living from the heart. . . .”1 Moore uses the phrase living from the heart to describe what the Gospels imply about a new sense of self: “openness to experience, to the…

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Ways to Track Our Growth as a Generous Congregation

By kebeb218 | June 7, 2020

Most church leaders want to help their congregations become more generous. But how do we do that? And how can we assess or measure our progress toward specific results? “Results” are what people will know, be, or do because of their stewardship exposure and experience. “Strategies” are action steps to achieve our results. For example,…

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A Cycle of Grace

By kebeb218 | June 6, 2020

Written for Voices and Silences, 2003 Grace, Giftedness, Giving and Growth – these four words, from Clif Christopher and Herb Mather’s book, Holy Smoke!, prompted me to reflect on these themes in my life. For me, they flow in a cycle, a deepening spiral, which begins and ends with God’s grace. From God’s side, it’s…

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Foundation Statement on Stewardship

By kebeb218 | June 5, 2020

Written for the General Board of Discipleship, The United Methodist Church, 2010 Stewardship is whatever we do with what God has entrusted to us by the way that we live. In response to God’s outpouring love and covenant faithfulness, we live out of God’s abundance instead of the illusion of scarcity thinking. We seek to…

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Clean Eating

By kebeb218 | May 24, 2020

June fifth is coming up soon – World Environment Day. And boy, do we have a lot of issues to address! But one essential dimension of our impact on the environment that calls out right now is what we choose to eat. “Clean eating” is a phrase that’s becoming popular in some circles these days.…

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Genesis and the Image of God

By kebeb218 | May 2, 2020

“Our soul is our true self, the essence of who we are, seeking to grow more and more into the image of God,” says Growing Generous Souls,1 pondering Genesis 1:26-27. But what is the image of God? Beyond that book’s couple of paragraphs, here are a few further reflections. Some renowned Bible scholars confirm the…

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Our Identity in Christ

By kebeb218 | April 18, 2020

What Jesus said and did in the Gospels are signs of who he is. But how do we apply that to who we are in Christ? Where else can we turn to find additional guidance about who we are because of Christ’s work in our lives? Colossians 3:8-17 can help us see the shape of…

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Major Donors and How to Reach Them

By kebeb218 | April 8, 2020

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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As Wild Geese Fly

By kebeb218 | October 21, 2019

Stewardship is the how of living toward God – not the wheels on the bus, but the way the wild geese fly. The way the wild geese fly – not just instinct but also intention: the how of living toward God. The how of living toward God – using what I have for God’s goals:…

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