Stewardship in an Age of Coronavirus

My role as curator and guide for The Evergreen Project compels me to write a few thoughts and ideas for the benefit of all of our leaders in the Anglican Church in North America. Whether or not these ideas and suggestions, and the thinking behind them, make their way beyond our newly formed denomination, I cannot tell. But my perceived [...]

By |2020-03-24T20:17:56-05:00March 24th, 2020|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: |1 Comment

When Giving Keeps on Giving! Generosity Can Make a Difference for Decades

I met Herb at breakfast in 1992. He and I were newly elected members of a national board and met for the first time the day before. At breakfast the next morning, I walked right by Herb carrying my plate filled with bacon, eggs, and my morning coffee. “David, join me!” Herb called out to me as I walked by [...]

By |2020-01-12T12:20:37-06:00January 12th, 2020|Categories: Generosity, Miscellaneous|Tags: |0 Comments

Paying the Pastor: How to Figure Out Compensation for Clergy

As the Evergreen Project continues to create, collect, and curate the best resources for a thriving church, the issue of clergy compensation is unavoidable. About a year ago, I wrote an article about this topic as part of a series on Awkward Church Questions. Who should have access to the giving records? How much should we pay the pastor? Should [...]

By |2019-10-24T10:22:11-05:00October 24th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Pledge Cards, pt. 2: Additional Factors to Consider

As the Evergreen Project continues to create, collect, and curate the best resources for a thriving church, the issue of pledge cards comes quickly to the front of the line. Recently, we addressed the base level question of whether congregations should use an annual pledge card system as a best practice for regular giving. We looked at some of the [...]

By |2020-05-22T14:25:21-05:00October 7th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: |0 Comments

Pledge Cards: To Have or To Hold

This post is part of an ongoing conversation about generosity and stewardship in conjunction with The Evergreen Project's fall campaign, "The Joy of Giving Up." As the Evergreen Project continues to create, collect, and curate the best resources for a thriving church, the issue of pledge cards comes quickly to the front of the line. Should a congregation of faithful [...]

By |2019-09-30T17:57:03-05:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , |0 Comments

Don’t Ignore These Important Trends in Church Giving and Attendance

Recently, I presented a webinar on general trends in attendance and generosity across the United States and Canada for clergy and vestry / lay leadership. The webinar was part of the ongoing training related to the The Evergreen Project and our Fall Program – The Joy of Giving Up. Rooted in a vision of flourishing from Psalm 1 and Jeremiah [...]

By |2019-09-12T10:21:15-05:00September 12th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , |0 Comments

How to Become a Generous Church

"Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you" (Deuteronomy 16:17). The Joy of Giving Up will introduce one single idea to the people of your church. It is not my original idea. I have not heard it from anyone that I have ever met in my lifetime. But I [...]

By |2019-09-03T16:41:16-05:00September 3rd, 2019|Categories: Generosity|Tags: , |0 Comments

Money Well Spent: Why Your Church Should Consider the Joy of Giving Up

The first sermon I ever heard on stewardship was called “The Sermon on the Amount”. It was classic. And bad! It was spoken by a young layperson who had been commissioned by the Sr. Warden to “say a few words.” It was mercifully short. It was truly apologetic, in the bad sense of the word. The preacher stood up near [...]

By |2019-08-15T17:11:50-05:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , |1 Comment

All Should, Some Must, Few Do: A Letter to ACNA Rectors

The Evergreen Project is a fresh approach to addressing one of the most difficult questions in ministry: How can pastors talk about stewardship, generosity, and money with the people they are trying to serve and lead? The subject fills pastors with dread and congregations with skepticism. Isn’t the priest supposed to feed the sheep, not fleece the sheep?! No matter [...]

By |2019-05-08T13:44:42-05:00May 7th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: |0 Comments

Want to Help Your Church Grow in Generosity? Check Out The Evergreen Project

The Evergreen Project site is live! Go there now to see what awaits you and your congregation. We are just getting started, but there are plenty of things to help you grow your congregation’s understanding of the vision and values of generosity and stewardship. What is The Evergreen Project? The Evergreen Project is going to be great for every congregation [...]

By |2019-04-05T12:09:46-05:00April 5th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|0 Comments

Webinar: Building a Generous Church through the Slow Summer Months (March 13, 11AM CST)

Springing Forward? The pastor began the service with an appeal to some of the people in the back of the church to voluntarily "re-seat" themselves. The opening line was pleasant enough: “Would the people in the back of the room please move up into the seats up front…” Dutifully, a few people complied. The picked up their belongings and begrudgingly [...]

By |2019-03-14T18:02:20-05:00March 11th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: |0 Comments

How Much Should We Pay the Pastor? (Awkward Church Questions, pt. 2)

These are the awkward questions during any board or Vestry meeting. You can feel a quiet come over the room. Everyone is hoping the subject will pass. But there are five awkward questions that your church needs to be able to discuss. Previously, we tackled the question of access to giving records. Hopefully, I’ve given you enough to open a [...]

Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records? The Senior Pastor (Awkward Church Questions, pt. 1)

They are not easy at first. They are ‘off-putting’, to use a colloquium. Or tacky. When the subjects come up, you can see everyone squirm in their seats. We wish we could just avoid them. But there are five of them that need to happen pretty routinely. What I am talking about? Awkward questions like the following: Who should have [...]

By |2019-10-24T08:00:37-05:00November 2nd, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

4 Ways to Help 4 Different Generations Give Generously

Talking about generosity in the church is always a balancing act between faithful theological and pastoral instruction on the one hand and practical, applied communication on the other. You’ve got to look at the subject from 40,000 feet while keeping your boots firmly planted on the ground. In Giving Up, I’ve tried to walk this line, outlining generosity as the [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:35-06:00October 17th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

10 Ways to End the Year on a Generous Note at Your Church

On this blog, I try to provide tactical advice on growing generosity in the church. Every church leader knows that giving is especially vital as the year winds to a close. (To learn 3 things from your yearly church budget shortfall, click here.) The end may be nigh upon us, but there is no need to feel like you are [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:36-06:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Three Thoughts About That Church Budget Shortfall

I regularly visit churches around the country and about this time of year, a new, semi-liturgical ceremony begins around the church budget. (I participated in it myself during my three decades in ministry. It became something totally normal for me; it's only now that I'm in the pews most Sundays that I've realized how odd this little ritual is.) It usually [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:42-06:00October 10th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The Zagginess of Holiness

When I was writing Giving Up, I discovered an unlikely source of insight in Zag: The Number One Strategy of High Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier. The foundational principle is that successful brands don’t follow the crowd—they don’t look at the leaders in the marketplace and try to latch on and say “Me too!” Instead, when everyone else zigs, they [...]

By |2020-05-22T15:48:08-05:00September 10th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Leadership|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Build Your Generosity and Stewardship Emphasis This Fall

Pastors, it’s not too late to plan an emphasis on stewardship and generosity this fall. But it is almost too late. Leading a church in this area takes intentionality and courage. Some pastors have such an allergy to the topic of giving that they don’t bring it up until it’s too late. Waiting until the end-of-the-year to broach the subject [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:47-06:00September 6th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Leadership|Tags: , , , , , , |1 Comment

LeaderWorks Update with Pictures!!!

It has been about two years since I left my position at Christ Church to begin this new ministry to help other leaders do their work. Many people have asked me why I would do such a thing. My first answer is simple: A Call. I believe that I heard from God. I sensed that it was time to leave [...]

By |2019-03-01T14:32:07-06:00September 5th, 2018|Categories: Generosity|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Scared to Talk about Stewardship? Read this Series

Pastors and church leaders, if you're scared or anxious about bringing up the topic of stewardship and giving with your churches, I'd like to draw your attention to the following series by David Roseberry of LeaderWorks. Stewardship, Giving, and the Third Rail Stewardship is extremely important, yet often extremely uncomfortable to talk about in the church! David addresses some common [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:26:54-06:00September 2nd, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Funny You Said That: Stewardship and Humor (Giving, Part 3)

From LeaderWorks: helping leaders do their work. Normally, you wouldn’t find a blog post on humor mentioned in a series on Stewardship, Giving, and Generosity. The topic of stewardship and giving is not an easy one to speak about. It makes some people feel very uncomfortable. Both speaker and listener share long moments of angst when the topic is raised publicly. [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:52-06:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Preaching|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

10 Habits for a Generous Church (Giving, Part 2)

From LeaderWorks: helping leaders do their work. As I wrote in part one of this series, a church without adequate resources will soon see their visions become vapors. Money feeds momentum. It is a sign of commitment, involvement, trust, hope, and even worship unto the Lord! It is good to talk about! That is why developing a culture of generosity in every [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:54-06:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Stewardship, Giving, and the Third Rail (Giving, Part 1)

From LeaderWorks: helping leaders do their work. A third rail is the high voltage power line that runs along a subway train. It is the one you are warned NOT to touch. It powers the train. But don't touch it. It makes everything go, but if you touch it, it might kill you. Zap! Shock! For some congregations, the topics of [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:55-06:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Payment from the Pews

In trying to help leaders do their work, we are often talking about how to work smarter, not harder. When it comes to leading a church, this can often be misleading. After all, much of ministry work is only possible through careful, difficult effort. Whether it's pastoral care or sermon prep, shortcuts or hacks would only lead to diminished work. [...]

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