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Different generations reflect different types of givers within a congregation.
In a sociological study of American Christians, the authors search for an answer to the question: "Why do Christians in the United States not give away their money much more generously than they do?"
Paul Larsen of Christ the Christ the King Lutheran Church, New Brighton, MN. wrote: "Every year we ask people to prayerfully consider what they will give in terms of time, talent and money to support the mission and ministry of Christ the King. Here is a set of brief devotions to help you engage in that prayerful consideration. Please gather with family and/or friends to read and reflect on the items below. If that is not possible they can be used in private, individual times of meditation and prayer. Conclude with a prayer asking God to let this "word for the day" help you to let your light shine brighter."
The ability to accept change is about mentally "moving over" the old ways of doing something and looking at another option for achieving the same or a better result. The focus of your leadership should always be on your mission! If there are different ways to achieve better results to achieve it --- you need to make those changes! That's when you often hear, "but it isn't in the budget!" I have great respect for budgeting and it's a necessary part of being sound financially, but it isn't "cast in concrete" and needs to be treated as a spending plan --- not the end of every financial discussion.
Too many of our congregations think they are successful if they hold worship services, observe the special church holidays, pay their bills and mail some checks to charitable organizations and their denomination. That's the easy part --- the format for the real work! The real job is to convert those people into disciples --- that's our real mission!
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Adam Copeland serves as director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders.
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