Episcopal Diocese of Washington

To draw people to Jesus and embody his love
for the world by equipping faith communities,
promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice

Reading

A Spirituality of Fundraising
Henri J.M. Nouwen and John S. Mogabgab (2011)

“Fundraising is, first and foremost, a ministry," best-selling author and renowned spiritual teacher Henri Nouwen writes. "It's a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission." Nouwen encourages us to see fundraising as spiritual work and approach it confidently. "Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging," he points out. Unlike most business/leadership books, A Spirituality of Fundraising is brief and can easily be read in one sitting.” 64 pages.

Also available in a 4-week workbook edition that contains the entire text of the book. 112 pages.

Making the Annual Pledge Drive Obsolete:
How Churches Can Get Out of this Business Once and for All
Michael Durall and Timothy Dombek (2014)

“This book challenges congregations to create a high-expectation culture of giving, ultimately eliminating the need for annual pledge campaigns.” 85 pages.

Celebrating the Offering
Melvin Amerson and James Amerson (2008)

“Have you watched a child who, expectantly and excitedly, clutches a coin (or bill) as he or she awaits the offering plate? Oh to see as a child once again! If you're looking to revitalize the spirit of generosity in your congregation, you'll find simple and effective ways to incorporate the offering into the deepest fibers of your worship experience. ‘Most Christians grow in generosity as they grow spiritually,’ write the authors. ‘Churches grow in generosity when stewardship is preached, taught, embraced and celebrated. For the celebration to occur, a process of transformation needs to take place.’ The Amerson brothers, ordained in the United Methodist Church, address the concerns and misunderstandings about the practice. Through biblical precedents, prayers, litanies and examples, they demonstrate how to reshape the offertory into an authentic celebration involving all members of all ages. Celebrating the Offering brings our faith closer and closer to the center of our lives...[where the offering] becomes a natural expression of who we are as Christians”. 112 pages.

Rich Church, Poor Church: Keys to Effective Financial Ministry
J. Clif Christopher (2012)

“Does your church have the necessary funds to do ministry? In Dr. Clif Christopher's nearly forty years in ministry as a pastor and President of Horizons Stewardship Company, he has witnessed the financial stewardship practices of thousands of churches. A few have exceptional records in acquiring and managing the necessary funds for mission and ministry, but the vast majority struggle every year to get by. In this important new work made even more relevant by our economic times, Christopher contrasts the traits of the most productive congregations with those who perennially fail to secure the funds to perform transformational ministry. Some churches practice the necessary financial habits that form the foundation of successful ministry, and others waste valuable resources and undermine ministry opportunities. Through Christopher’s insight born out of years of experience and consultation, readers can assess the financial condition of their own churches.” 120 pages.

Stewardship in African-American Churches: A New Paradigm
Melvin Amerson (2015)

“Amerson looks closely at financial stewardship traditions within African-American churches and offers ways for faithful congregations to grow in their giving. While recognizing the traditions of African-American churches, the author points to new ways of stewardship, including electronic fund transfers and creative endowments. Amerson brings much experience in financial stewardship to this subject. As an African-American clergyperson in the United Methodist Church, he writes with authority and passion concerning the ways stewardship undergirds the ministry and mission of the church.” 136 pages.

Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation
Charles R. Lane (2006)

“The goal of this book, says author Charles Lane, is to perform a dramatic rescue of stewardship, freeing it from any connection whatsoever to "paying the bills." When the Bible talks about stewardship it almost always talks about the intimate connection between how a person handles financial matters and that person's relationship with God. Stewardship is an intensely spiritual matter that lies close to a disciple's relationship with Jesus. The book is designed especially for use in congregational planning and study. Congregational stewardship leaders will come back to three foundational verbs ask, thank, tell over and over as they help individuals experience the joy of giving generously. The author makes the convincing case that there is little in life today that can help a disciple grow in relationship with Jesus more than a solid intentional biblical stewardship.”
128 pages.

Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship
J. Clif Christopher (2015)

“People don’t give to church because we don’t offer them a compelling vision of the good their giving will achieve. Hearing a young attorney speak of the faith-based reasons for which he had just made a substantial monetary gift to a community youth center, Clif Christopher asked the speaker if he would consider making a similar contribution to the congregation of which he was an active member. “Lord, no they would not know what to do with it” was the answer. That, in a nutshell, describes the problem churches are facing in their stewardship efforts, says Christopher. Unlike leading nonprofit agencies and institutions, we too often fail to convince potential givers that their gifts will have impact and significance. In this book, Christopher lays out the main reasons for this failure to capture the imagination of potential givers, including our frequent failure simply to ask. Written with the needs of pastors and stewardship teams in mind, Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate provides immediate, practical guidance to all who seek to help God’s people be better stewards of their resources.” Christopher is a United Methodist pastor who founded and now runs Horizons Stewardship Company. 138 pages.

Sharing Possessions: What Faith Demands
Luke Timothy Johnson (2011)

"This book is written as an exercise in theological reflection on one of the knottiest questions imaginable: the connection between being a Christian and the way we own and use things. When we turn to thinking about money and possessions, we find ourselves in murky waters. The things we own and use, like our sexuality, lie close to the bone of our individual and collective sense of identity. This second edition, reflecting thirty years of Johnson's further thinking on the subject, features chapters expanded with fresh insights, helpful new study questions for each chapter, and a substantial epilogue updating the work.” 192 pages.

Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life
Mark Allan Powell (2006)

“We all know that everything we have is a gift from God. But sometimes it’s hard to know just how to give back to God. How much is enough? What does the Bible really say? What should giving look like in our everyday lives? Filled with good news for followers of Jesus, Mark Allan Powell’s Giving to God shows Christians the way to a better life and a better relationship with their money — and with God. Powell presents stewardship as an act of worship, an expression of faith, and a discipline for spiritual growth. Faithful use of our time, talents, and money starts with a deep, satisfying relationship with the God to whom we belong. We can then learn, says Powell, to give gladly and generously out of our heartfelt connection with God. Informative, concise, and eminently practical (including discussion questions), Giving to God gives us resources for best using the treasures, material and otherwise, that God has given us. 204 pages.

Fearless Church Fundraising: The Practical and Spiritual Approach to Stewardship
Charles LaFond (2013)

“Considering how essential fundraising is to ministry, many church leaders remain terrified of asking for or talking about money. Fearless Church Fundraising removes the terror from stewardship, urging leaders to focus on deep spiritual conversion and a clear, compelling mission before they design the pledge cards. In this rich resource part handbook, part workbook, part spiritual guidebook former monk and popular consultant Charles LaFond combines road-tested strategies and sample campaign documents with a spiritual director s sensitivity. The result is an irresistible, user-friendly text that promises to transform your ministry s fundraising and its spiritual life."
216 pages.

The Power of Half
Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen (2011)

“While not grounded in Christian theology, this book offers a foundation for conversations about living smaller so that we may help others. The “Hannah’s Take” segments are especially articulate, with questions and family activities that encourage intentional and proportional living across all areas of life. The Salwen’s income bracket and lifestyle description may create a barrier for some readers to identify with the family’s pursuits. Nevertheless, the book is a recommended read for church leaders to use as a resource for conversation about proportional living and giving.” 256 pages.

The Woman's Book of Money and Spiritual Vision:
Putting Your Financial Values into Financial Practice
Rosemary Williams (2005)

“Money triggers powerful emotions and conflicting messages, especially for women. But for those who want to look at their finances in new and freeing ways, this "workshop in a book" — complete with worksheets, journaling exercises, and meditations — strips away misconceptions about money and shows women how they can create a secure future and shape a better world. It walks readers through a six-stage process encouraging them to explore feelings about money, identify core spiritual values, and make sound decisions reflecting those values.” 256 pages.

Money and Possessions
Walter Brueggemann (2016)

“The Bible is rich with complex and diverse material on the topic of money and possessions. Indeed, a close look at many scriptural texts reveals that economics is a core preoccupation of the biblical tradition. In this new work, highly regarded preacher and scholar Walter Brueggemann explores the recurring theme of money and possessions in the Old and New Testaments. He proposes six theses concerning money and possessions in the Bible, observing their contradictory nature to the conventional wisdom and practice of both the ancient world and today s society. Brueggemann advises us to reassess the ways in which our society engages or does not engage questions of money and possessions as carriers of social possibility. He invites the church to move toward an alternative neighborly economy that is more consistent with the gospel we confess.” 342 pages.

The Seven Stages of Money Maturity:
Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in your Life
George Kinder (2000)

“In this groundbreaking book, renowned Buddhist teacher George Kinder, a Harvard-trained certified financial planner, demonstrates how we can literally transform our lives emotionally and financially by achieving "money maturity"—a full understanding of the spiritual and psychological issues surrounding our money lives. Drawing on ancient Buddhist wisdom and his years of financial practice, Kinder has created a revolutionary program that guides us through the Seven Stages of a revolutionary journey—one designed to help us uncover the roots of our attitudes about money, and attain true peace, freedom, and security in our financial lives.” 369 pages.

A Revolution in Generosity: Transforming Stewards to be Rich Toward God
edited by Wesley K. Willmer (2008)

As Wes Willmer writes, generosity is the natural outcome of God's transforming work in individuals when they are conformed to the image of Christ. Fundraising and giving are not simply drops in the bucket. Capital campaigns and raising funds go deeper than the money. They are spiritual activities in becoming more like Christ. A Revolution in Generosity is a work by some of the best scholars and practitioners on the subject of funding Christian organizations. As Willmer writes, "The foundation for realizing a revolution in generosity is understanding the biblical view of possessions, generosity, and asking for resources." With over twenty expert contributors, this book is a must-read for organizations striving to rid themselves of secular, asking practices and gain an eternal approach.” 432 pages.

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