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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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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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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I’m excited to teach an online course on “Stewardship and Culture: Building Contagious Generosity” this next Jan. 9 through Feb. 11. Registration will be open beginning in December at transformingthechurch.org. The class will feature four audio-video presentations, an interactive online Class Forum, and four weekly live conference calls on Saturdays, Jan. 21 and 28 and…

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I’m excited to be teaching an online course from mid-January to mid-February, 2016 on “Stewardship and Culture: Building Contagious Generosity.” Sponsored by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and TransformingTheChurch.org, it features four audio-video presentations over four weeks with an interactive Class Forum. We’ll also hold three conference calls: one on Jan. 11 (to give a week…

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Written for the CA-NV United Methodist Conference Instant Connection, 7/30/2015 The 2012-2016 U.M. Guideline, Stewardship: Nurturing Generous Living, is now available. This nuts-and-bolts booklet, written by the Rev. Betsy Schwarzentraub, former California-Nevada Conference Director of Stewardship, is written for a local church stewardship team to build a generosity plan for the congregation. The forty-page booklet…

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We measure what’s important to us. I heard that statement a long time ago, but it becomes truer with one’s age and with experiences in the local church. It’s like taking our pulse as we exercise, to make sure we are growing a stronger, healthier body. And now that the Bishops of the United Methodist…

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A major trend among our denominational leaders these days is to look for measurable outcomes for our life together. That’s easy to do for some quantitative measures – what some people call “bodies and bucks” – but how can we measure our ministries qualitatively – for example, in our stewardship and generosity as a congregation?…

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Essentials:                                                                  Plan for Our Congregation: Who did or is doing this:                                                                               Done/Date: 1. Vision – “God-Sized Goals” Compelling Vision Statement Notes: “Scope of Ministries” or “Narrative Budget” that focuses on changed lives Notes: 2. Ministry-Centered Budgeting Process Notes: 3. Vital Connection to Mission Notes: Opportunities for…

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  Building a Generosity Plan for For Our Congregation Desired Outcomes or Results: For example: 1. Growing vibrant, faithful stewards (personal growth) 2. Maturing as a vital congregation of gospel stewards (congregational growth) 3. Building a local church of generous hearts and lives 4. Strengthening the stewardship of the church’s full ministry (mutual support with…

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Many church leaders think it is so difficult just dealing with the crises of the next six months, they can’t imagine planning ahead for three or more years! But the truth is it’s easier to plan when we look further out in time, for at least five reasons: 1. Taking a longer view helps us…

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We talk about mission. We do mission. So how can we make our church’s annual financial commitment program mission-based, instead of sounding like one more “sell job” about our church’s programs? 1. Keep the main thing the Main Thing. Most people really do hear what we say. It’s just that they have lots of buttons…

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