12th Sunday after Pentecost Year A, August 31, 2014
We are called into a way of life that runs counter to everything the world tells us is worth having and doing and being. We are invited into community, splashed with water and word, filled with Spirit breath, and gifted to give and give and give some more. And that life is good–very, very good. (Photo by Leland Francisco, used by Creative Commons license)
Sacrificial giving requires of us that we put God’s priorities before our own, that we put the support of God’s Church and its mission before our own pleasure and comfort. In other words, we give to the Church a planned, proportionate amount of our income in gratitude for all that God has given to us. This six-week program will give you all the tools and inspiration you need to bring this idea into your congregation. (Photo by Lisafx, via Bigstock.com)
It’s no secret that more than ever churches need good leadership. But how do you develop leaders? This 60-page training guide can help. Put the case studies and exercises to work in congregational retreats, staff meetings, Christian education classes and other settings.
Everybody knows the best stewardship efforts take place 365 days a year, and this manual is designed to help congregational leaders to formulate a vision for year-round stewardship and create a plan for implementing it. The manual gathers together some of the best resources of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Perfect for your fall campaign — here’s a six-week stewardship reflection series on the Lectionary Gospel lessons, beginning Oct. 5. Feasting on Gratitude invites readers to reflect and discuss stewardship principles and practices. Designed to complement and support a congregation’s annual giving campaign, Written for Lectionary Year A in 2011, the series is timely again in 2014. (Photo by JustCookNYC, used by Creative Commons license)
Got a creative idea for stewardship eduction? The Stewardship of Life Institute is offering grants to help fund projects to advance stewardship in the ELCA. Applications are submitted online and due on Sept. 15 for the next funding round. See details inside! (Photo by Steven dePolo, used by Creative Commons license.)
Here’s a great idea: Follow the rhythms of the church year to help you focus on themes of creation, life and the environment! That’s the idea behind Let All Creation Praise, which offers free resources for worship, preaching and educating. (Photo © JulietPhotography – Fotolia.com)
Call it financial stewardship, call it meeting the budget, call it what you will, but raising money is a necessity for just about every congregation to continue to serve God and God’s people. This handy guide offers some no-nonsense, practical advice for how to go about it. From Evangelical Christian Credit Union. (Photo by Mykl Roventine, used under a Creative Commons license.)
Why do so many Pastors burn out in ministry? It’s because of faulty thinking. Our thinking controls our emotions and our emotions control the way we act. The problem is, when we’re at an emotional low, we typically make four common mistakes. From Rick Warren’s pastors.com. (Photo © alphaspirit – Fotolia.com)
Most people think small groups are a good idea; very few people seemed to be engaging in them well. That’s the general conclusion that Ed Stetzer and Eric Geiger have come to through their nation-wide research. In Transformational Groups they give us insights into this research and help in making the shift from merely having groups to making disciples. (Photo (c) Keren Tan, ShareAlike License,)
Often church leaders work countless hours planning how to limit spending, but they focus little attention on how to increase giving. We succeed where we focus our time and energy. Here, from BuildingChurchLeaders.com, is a fine piece on how to help increase giving. (Photo © laurent hamels – Fotolia.com)
You are invited to watch a free online seminar that faith and finance expert Nathan Dungan will give at Luther Seminary. On Sept. 9 from 12:30 pa.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern time, Dungan will present on Money, Meaning and Faith: Financial Leadership in Communities of Faith. The seminar will include personal financial stewardship coaches, pastors,
The 2014 Report from Giving USA has good news and bad news for congregations. While overall giving rose, giving to religious groups declined. Competition for donor dollars is one factor, but so is falling church attendance and participation. Here are some highlights.
People of faith will join concerned citizens around the world to march in New York city to urge action on climate change. Planned for Sept. 21, the event has the support of more than 400 groups, many of them church and religious organizations. Learn more at LutheransRestoringCreation. (Photo by Takver, used by Creative Commons license.
By using principles of adaptive leadership, rather than reactive leadership, many pastors and congregational leaders are finding ways to energize, motivate and move their churches in new directions. This article, from the Reformed Church in America, gives a nice overview of adaptive leadership — and a bibliography for further reading!
Asbury Theological Seminary’s community garden is doing much more than feeding students. It’s become an important educational tool that includes a prayer garden, fire pit, preaching amphitheater, and nature path. (Photo: seminaryalliance.org)
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Almost there! Click the headline above to get to “A Theology for Christian Stewardship,” posted on the LCMS’ FaithAflame website.
Photo © Katerha, used by Creative Commons license
Here’s a free, seven-part curriculum for leaders who want to plumb the depths of their congregation’s financial soul.
Here’s a free online course on biblical stewardship that you can really sink your teeth into. “Four Gospels” pays attention to the stewardship-of-life underpinnings of the four Gospels as it provides a scholarly overview. From Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.