Christ the King Sunday Year A, November 23, 2014
Is it really a case of “Team Goat” vs. “Team Sheep” and winners and losers of eternal proportions? Maybe Jesus’ point with this story is something quite different. After all, he is the King of Everything! (Photo: Jirka Matousek, Creative Commons. Thanks!)
Thanksgiving comes every fourth Thursday in November, but thanking God for our blessings is a spiritual discipline that should not be limited to a single day. Giving thanks is as essential to our spiritual growth as prayer. Here are some creative ideas not only to develop an attitude of thankfulness but also to reach out to our neighbors.
This article, written by Pastor Todd Nelson, is one of many valuable weekly newsletter offerings from the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary. Be sure to visit their website for this and other resources, as well as recordings from past Renewing Stewardship events.
When I speak with mainline ministers, we wonder if our entire career has been spent in a time of institutional scarcity and decline. Clearly, leadership in a situation of abundance and growth is very different than leadership in a situation of scarcity and decrease. If there is “a time for every season under heaven,” then this is a time for “Leadership in Scarcity,” indeed. Let me try to describe some challenges and gifts and offer a few proposals. (Photo © James Steidl – Fotolia.com)
Check out this wonderful creation care curriculum from Mennonite Creation Care Network. It’s a complete program with 13 units entitled “Every Creature Singing: Embracing the Good News for Planet Earth.” Click the headline to be redirected to the MCCN website. (Photo: George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Creative Commons)
For veteran preacher Gary Langness, preaching stewardship happens year round, is a joy-filled process, and begins even before the pastor steps foot in the pulpit. In this article from Luther Seminary’s “Story Magazine” he shares some basic principles. (Photo by that.with.the.camera, used by Creative Commons license)
Churches have fallen on tough times. Giving is way down. From established churches to startup churches, it seems like everyone is reeling from the economy. With lost jobs or slashed incomes, churchgoers just aren’t giving. What can churches do to increase tithing? Here are tips from ShareFaith magazine.
Here are some go-to places for planning your congregation’s Thanksgiving Service. Not doing something during the week? Why not include a Thanksgiving component for the Sunday before or after? (Photo by Ed Schipul, used by Creative Commons license)
Getting parishioners to sign up for cottage meetings or home visits can be tough. Check out the clever way St. James Cathedral (ECUSA) successfully addressed this challenge. (Photo: ECF Vital Practices)
What are the key points to emphasize about congregational stewardship? This handy PowerPoint presentation covers the ground handily from a Lutheran perspective, but is easily adaptable for any context. Posted on the website of the Metropolitan D.C. Synod of the ELCA.
What’s the deal about tithing? Is it a biblical mandate, a generous response or an outdated measure for giving? This FAQ from the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis provides answers. (Photo by Raymond Bryson, used by Creative Commons license)
The question comes up eventually in about every church: Should the pastor know what each family gives? There are certainly pros and cons to both sides of the issue, as this article from the Episcopal Church Foundation points out. (Photo by TaxRebate.org.uk, used by permission)
Healthy pastors lead healthy churches, but we all know that some pastors do not take the time or effort that can optimize their wellbeing. Here are some keys to being a healthy pastor. How many can you begin working on this week? From ChurchLeaders.com. (Photo by Joshua Smith, used by Creative Commons license)
How do you understand stewardship? Have you thought through the issues involved in faith and giving? Here is a handy guide that will help you develop a theology of stewardship that is right for your context. From the United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences. (Photo (c) Keren Tan, ShareAlike License)
A spreadsheet-style budget tells nothing about your congregation’s ministries. Instead, the United Church of Christ suggests preparing a narrative budget with color photos, and they have links to some creative examples. (Photo by Wendi Kelly, used by Creative Commons license)
Browse the Archive
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.
Some of the brightest minds of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have collaborated for this collection of essays exploring “How Much is Enough: A Deeper Look at Stewardship in an Age of Abundance.” Each author looks at one aspect of what it means to be a well-formed stewardship leader — the basic competencies needed.
Check out Faith Aflame from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a free comprehensive offering with a broad assortment of downloadable resources for congregational leaders. Click here or above to explore the Faith Aflame site.