Stewardship and Congregational Finances
One of the best stewardship resources is the Center for Stewardship Leader’s website. This website features a robust stewardship resource database chock full of book reviews, quotes, sermons, and articles. The Center for Stewardship Leaders also puts out a weekly stewardship e-mail newsletter that goes out to about 3,700 people each week. If your student is interested in stewardship, please encourage him/her to sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the “sign up” link in the right sidebar of the stewardship homepage. If you have any questions about stewardship or congregational finances please contact either Grace Duddy or Chick Lane. If you feel unprepared to discuss congregational finances and stewardship, we have many coaches who specialize in this subject, please contact Mary Steeber if you would like for your student to meet with one of them.
In the sections below instead of links to resources there are links to books. Stewardship, whether personal or congregational, is not something that can be encapsulated in a brief article or resource rather it is something that is best learned from experience over time. Below you will find recommendations for books that you might decide to read together with your student if he or she is interested in stewardship or congregational finances.
- Enough: Pastor Adam Hamilton, in his book Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity, takes a deep look at the question “How much is enough?” He brings together biblical truths and practical wisdom to help his readers reflect on the role of money in their lives. The short chapters as well as discussion questions at the end of each chapter make it a good fit for the coaching relationship. He also includes a lot of practical money management tips and worksheets to help put the ideas of the book into practice.
- The Soul of Money: In this book, Lynne Twist shares her own story of her life as a fundraiser and global activist for a world hunger organization. Through stories of her experiences with both rich and poor people, she explains that examining our attitudes toward money can offer surprising insights into our lives and our values. While this is a secular book, it certainly has a lot to say about stewardship of our resources and finding freedom in the way that we handle our money.
- Money and Ministry: Janet T. and Philip D. Jamieson, in their book Money and Ministry: A Guide for Pastors, provide a practical resource for handling money in the church. This book is an excellent primer on church accounting, finances, and budgets.
- Ask, Thank, Tell: In this book, Chick Lane rescues stewardship from its association with “paying the bills” by reclaiming it as a spiritual matter that can help disciples grow in their relationship with Jesus. He explores three fundamental verbs-ask, thank, and tell- and how these three verbs can help congregational stewardship leaders grow their stewardship ministry but more importantly help individuals in congregations experience the joy of giving generously.
- Giving To God: In this book, Mark Allan Powell presents stewardship as an act of worship, an expression of faith, and a discipline for spiritual growth looking specifically at how the Bible discusses stewardship. He also frames stewardship as both “a duty and a delight” looking specifically at how stewardship affects both our faithful living and giving as disciples of Jesus.
- Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate: Clif Christopher, in this book, illustrates the church’s problem of failing to convince potential givers of the impact and significance that their gift will have. He encourages the church to be more proactive in capturing the imagination of potential givers, particularly as they compete with non-profits for the gifts of their congregants.
- Competencies in a Well-formed Stewardship Leader: This is a publication from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that addresses the question, “What qualities should a stewardship leader have?”