Stewardship Resource

Generous People: How to Encourage Vital Stewardship

Book Review  Book Review
  • Author: Eugene Grimm is a stewardship specialist for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Updated: 12/19/2012
  • ISBN: 0-687-14045-5
  • Copyright: Abingdon Press

Generous People gives detailed practical counsel with a focus on growing people spiritually.

Generous People Review and Notes

Grimm asserts, "Fund-raising is a financial matter. Stewardship is primarily a spiritual matter. Fund-raising is concerned with raising money for the budget. Stewardship relates to how we live out our commitment to Jesus Christ... . Stewardship is more than financial giving... . Stewardship is what we do after we say we believe."

The contents of the book are reflected in the chapter titles and themes:

Chapter 1 -- Foundations for "Outward bound living."

Chapter 2 -- Two vital elements are emphasized:

  • An effective campaign.
  • Year round stewardship.

    Chapter 3 -- The role of the Pastor as the "tour guide" is clearly identified:
  • The pastor's life.
  • The pastor's words.
  • The pastor's stewardship education.
  • The pastor's biblical teachings.

    Chapter 4 -- The question is ... "To Pledge or Not to Pledge"
    Ten reasons are given as to why it is important for people to make an  estimate of their giving response.

    1. Estimating giving makes God the God of our lives.
    2. Estimating acknowledges That God asks for our commitment.
    3. Estimating emphasizes that God is vital to our lives.
    4. Making an estimate frees.
    5. Christians lead by example.
    6. Estimating reflects our disciplined response to Christ's love.
    7. Estimating begets ministry.
    8. Estimating enables the church to plan.
    9. An estimate is not a contract.
    10. An estimate enables intentional decisions.

    Chapter 5 -- Grimm lays out a blue print for the stewardship appeal.

    Chapter 6 -- The emphasis is on "The Need of People to Give." The reasons why people need to give are identified. The difference between giving and fund-raising are clarified.

    Chapter 7 -- A variety of practical approaches are identified and encouraged.

    Chapter 8 -- The issues of burn out and rust out are addressed.  Ideas are shared on how to have broad participation.

    Chapter 9 -- The question: "Will I Have to Make Visits" is raised.

    Chapter 10 -- "Ask the Vital Question" clarifies priorities.

    Throughout the book there are sections identified as "Action Possibilities." Concrete, usable ideas are given. They are worth the price of the book.

    Although this book was published in 1992, it still serves as an enduring, practical and helpful guide for pastors and stewardship committees.

    I recommend it to you.  

    -- Review by Jerry Hoffman


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