Preach Stewardship from the Trinity

Now is a natural time for pastors to be planning their preaching topics for the year ahead. How can we approach stewardship holistically – in its fullness – over the months ahead to include giving money but not let it take over all the other dimensions of stewarding God’s gifts? One helpful way is to…

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As Wild Geese Fly

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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Biblically Generous Churches, Part 1

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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Curiosity — Stewarding Our Attention

This past weekend on retreat, I was thrilled to get reacquainted with curiosity as one of the seven key attributes named by Lacy Ellman in her book, Pilgrim Principles. Last year I wrote about two studies of curiosity among Millennials, in my blog, Generous Stewards – Curious and Creative. It was exciting to think of…

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Seven Ways to Increase Your Church’s Income

Denis Greene is a stewardship author and Executive Director of The Church Development Foundation. He gets right to the heart of things in his article, “Seven Ways to Instantly Increase Church Income.” Here are the highlights: 1. Conduct an annual stewardship campaign – Surprisingly, more than half of all congregations don’t conduct an annual stewardship…

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Earth Day Opportunities

Earth Day has become a tradition in a lot of places in recent years, and this year, this week, is no exception. It gives us the chance to celebrate and learn more about God’s gift of the earth and all living things that depend upon it, including ourselves and native human communities around the globe.…

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Pursuing Possessions

Jesus says that what we pursue is what we treasure (Luke 12:33-34). The trouble with pursuing wealth as a source of security, adds author Sondra Ely Wheeler, 1 is that “it usurps God’s role as source and measure and guarantor of life.” By contrast, Wheeler notes, the Book of Luke lays out “a confidence of…

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Dimensions of Stewardship

Stewardship is the way we manage all that God has entrusted to us. Which stewardship dimensions are strengths in your church? In which areas would you like to grow? What would you want to teach? Stewardship of Lifestyle and of the Environment Caring for the earth and all creatures; finding a balance between work and…

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What Stuff Means

In The Power of Enough: Finding Contentment by Putting Stuff in Its Place, Lynn Miller has a great exercise for our personal reflection. It goes like this (my paraphrases): For each word on this list, write down what it means to you. There are no wrong answers. House Car Salary Food Clothes Cash Savings Retirement…

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Beauty and Gratitude

Looking up, I watch the high, bright clouds slide smoothly across e. e. cummings’ “blue, true dream of sky.” What beauty God makes with creation! Gratitude gives us solid ground to stand on, but as long-armed as it is, it can never reach as far as God’s grace extends. Like the clouds, I want to…

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Propel: Involvement and Generosity

I just wrote a book review for next year’s Giving magazine on Clayton Smith’s new book, Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity. The theme of that issue of Giving is “Living Generously,” and I hope you’ll order it online at www.stewardshipresources.org this fall. But there are a lot more ideas from Propel than I could pack…

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Author Chat

I invite you to a free, online “Author Chat” with me on April 26, 2016 at 11 a.m. Pacific Time, sponsored by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. I am looking forward to it! In the first half, I’ll talk (live) over some Power Point slides about what I’ve learned so far through work with churches and…

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Stewardship and Culture course

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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Animals Know

I’m one of the honored few. Our horse Tuxedo greets me regularly the way trusting horses meet one another: by coming nose-to-nose, breathing in each other’s breath. It takes trust, especially for a human being: one push of his head against my face could knock me silly. But it’s trust on his part, too –…

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A New Look at Hebrews

What are rituals, anyway? My Quaker husband uses that term for symbolic outward actions in worship. I prefer the United Methodist description of sacraments: “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” This is true when we prepare ourselves for worship, anyway: for Holy Communion or baptism, or really any time we…

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