While stewardship should be a year around emphasis, in the coming months many churches will be planning and carrying out their stewardship campaigns – seeking commitments to provide the financial resources to support mission and ministry.
Abingdon Press and Discipleship Ministries have print and online resources available that teach stewardship practices from a biblical and Wesleyan perspective. Many of these can be used either as small-group or congregation-wide studies. In addition, United Methodist Communications has produced a new Generosity kit for pastors and leaders.
Defying Gravity: Break Free from the Culture of More
This four-week study will help members thrive with “less” as they become a church of generosity. As participants unburden themselves of excess spending, they will find themselves free to give more of their money and time to God. The book is available by itself or with a leader kit that includes a leader guide, a program tools flash drive and family card pack. The Rev. Tom Berlin, author, is lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia.
Earn. Save. Give. Wesley’s Simple Rules for Money
The Rev. James A. Harnish’s book reintroduces Wesley’s timeless mantra on Christian stewardship to 21st-century readers and offers tips for living it out in their ministry and day-to-day lives. This book can be easily adapted to different age groups with supplementary guides available for children and youth. Other supplementary materials sold separately include a leader guide, DVD, program guide and devotional readings. Harnish retired in 2014 after 43 years of pastoral ministry in the Florida Annual Conference.
Enough, Revised Edition: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity
The latest edition of the Rev. Adam Hamilton’s book teaches financial prudence and generosity as spiritual disciplines as participants commit themselves to saving responsibly and giving lovingly. Order the book alone or purchase the leader kit that comes with a leader guide, DVD and stewardship program guide. Hamilton is lead pastor at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.
Generosity Pastor and Leaders Kit
Sermon starters, a bulletin insert and customizable cover, offering slides are included in the kit to help leaders talk to their congregation about the United Methodist connection and the impact congregants are making in the lives of people around the world. Helpful year round when talking about giving and generosity, the resource are especially useful in the fall.
Making the Annual Campaign Your Own
The Rev. Ken Sloane, director of stewardship and generosity for Discipleship Ministries, developed a webinar for how to plan an annual stewardship campaign and keep the congregation in a spirit of generosity year-round. Listen to the recording of the webinar online and download an accompanying handout.
Practicing Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving
United Methodist Bishop Robert Schnase’s book will help church leaders tailor their stewardship campaign messaging and disciplines to all levels and generations within the congregation. Rev. Michael Reeves and Jennifer Tyler have developed a planning kit to go along with the book that includes a leader guide, a small group and worship DVD and a program guide. Reeves is pastor of financial discipleship at University United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas, while Tyler is founder and president of Tyler Associates, Inc., a professional fundraising and stewardship firm.
The Generosity Challenge: 28 Days of Gratitude, Prayer, and Faith
This book is ideal for small group study. Participants will spend four weeks learning to cultivate a spirit of giving and generosity through daily readings, suggested prayers, journaling and reflection. A supplementary DVD is also available for leaders to use during group discussions. Authors Kristine Miller and the Rev. Scott McKenzie are both senior vice-presidents and partners at Horizon Stewardship