The period of time between a person’s first visit to the church and the decision to become an official member of the congregation is a time of crucial formation. If giving is absent from the agenda, both the new member and the mission of the church suffers. The journey into membership is a wonderful opportunity to help persons on their spiritual pilgrimage as giving Christians. (Photo by 401(k), used by Creative Commons license)
Lectionary Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter, Year A
April 27, 2014
Instead of looking at this snapshot from John’s gospel as merely Thomas’ story of encountering the risen Christ, maybe we need to explore it from our Lord’s perspective of relationship, of reaching out and clothing us in his love and with his own name and identity. (Photo: Mark Morgan, Creative Commons)
The Bible gives a two-sided portrayal of wealth: It is good, but it can seduce us into sin. The solution, according to New Testament scholar Craig L. Blomberg, is to freely share it. In Christians in an Age of Wealth: A Biblical Theology of Stewardship (Zondervan), Blomberg, who teaches at Denver Seminary, argues that sacrificial giving is an essential part of good stewardship. He spoke with CT editor at large Rob Moll about our spending patterns and whether Christians are required to tithe. (Photo (c) Luke Peterson, used by Creative Commons license)
Despite prayerful and devoted service in the name of Christ, long hours, unrelenting pressures and constant exposure to the unrelenting problems of humanity takes a heavy toll on ministers. Burnout and fatigue can sap the energies of the best pastor. This excellent article explores the causes, symptoms — and help! — for burnout. (Photo © Alphaspirit – Fotolia.com)
When the concept of stewardship is developed in its total New Testament context it implies even more than trusteeship and responsibility. It contains the idea of partnership. The relation between master and servant gives way to the relation between friends working together for the realization of a common purpose.(Download a free PDF of this classic stewardship treatise from LCMS’ FaithAflame website.)
Living Wi$ely is a personal finance and budget counseling ministry that helps participants explore basic concepts of 1) creating and living within a budget; 2) saving, giving and getting out of debt; 3) biblical principles and spiritual issue of money. It is designed to be offered weekly for four weeks. The free online materials include the Financial Workshop Manual and a PowerPoint presentation for each of the four sessions. (Photo (c) Ariel Grimm, ShareAlike 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.
This resource outlines the six most popular financial response models used by ELCA congregations. An easy-to-follow guide for new stewardship leaders. Available through the ELCA Resource Catalog or in PDF as a free download.