If you want better results in the practice of generosity, you have to be willing to talk about it – and the it is money. At the Center for Faith and Giving we see this every time we visit congregations who have adequate resources for the mission and ministry God has called them to do. Churches that regularly talk about money, don’t have money problems — it’s just that simple.
This conversation is one that is not laced with guilt or gimmicks but rather is grounded in a solid biblical and theological framework that understands stewardship as spiritual practice. These regular exchanges take place intentionally from the pulpit, in the classroom (small groups), during the board meetings, and within the annual campaign. They are not limited to a few weeks or even a season but are ongoing throughout the year.
Money talk has two very distinct threads. The first is our relationship with money; the second is how we use our money. The Bible provides adequate texts as a basis for either conversation. The pastor and the church leadership however, must be willing to put the topic in play. To help with that, the Center for Faith and Giving is pleased to announce the launch of Devoted to Generosity, a year-round approach to stewardship.
Devoted to Generosity is tied to the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C) and will be available Jan. 2, 2019 (the first text identified is Jan. 20) and it includes a design for an annual campaign. This is important because research has shown that congregations that engage in a meaningful annual campaign will increase giving by 2 to 3 times the amount that those who do not do campaigns. (Calendar options are available for short fall and short spring campaigns for those not ready for a year-round approach.)
The materials include a text for preaching in each month of the year. We are blessed to have had Dr. Richard Lowery and Dr. Frank Thomas develop our “considering the text” resources designed to assist the preaching endeavor. Each text also has worship resources (designed by Suzanne Castle), along with materials for bible study and resources for having conversations with children. Devoted to Generosity comes with complete campaign guidance to help you succeed and will be available at the Center for Faith and Giving website.
by Bruce Barkhauer, Center for Faith and Giving