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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. [...]

Five Elegant Solutions to Grow Generosity

Some of you may know the acryonm KISS. I did not when it was first whispered in my ear by an unknown man about five minutes before my first sermon many years ago. He was a robed lay reader and was seated next to me. The church was filled with the good people of my first curacy in Arizona.  Ken [...]

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Five)

In the last few weeks we have been covering some awkward questions that often stymie leaders in congregations. Either no one thinks to ask the question or no one wants to bring it up. Here's what we've covered so far: Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records? How Much Should We Pay the Pastor? Should the Pastor Have a [...]

By |2020-10-08T15:47:34-05:00March 19th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Three)

The awkward questions are easy to ignore, but leaders can’t shy away from topics that have the potential to cripple ministry if left unaddressed. What goes unspoken can create divisions and spread distrust. Read Part Two If you haven’t caught up, here’s what we’ve discussed: In the first post, I asked the question about who should have access [...]

Ash Wednesday Excerpt: Giving Up

In Giving Up, I relate a moment from a particularly memorable Ash Wednesday. Other memories of this solemn service have been more somber, but none more soberly illustrates our 'selfie culture' or the need we have for this Lenten season that can draw us out of ourselves—if only we will let it. A few years ago, I led the Ash Wednesday [...]

The Gift of Lent

Lent begins with a necessary reminder: you are dust and to dust you shall return. In Ash Wednesday, we speak these difficult words so that we might resist the influential fictions that our daily lives impress upon us. The fiction that we are in control. That we can fix ourselves. That we were designed first and foremost to love and care [...]

It Ain’t Over…Yet

by David Roseberry I have been so grateful for the many people who have responded to the vision of Giving Up.  Several rectors have texted me and told me that the book made a difference in their thinking and in their planning for the last three months of the year. And, thankfully, in the way their church responded. One bishop [...]

Generous Resolutions

Our church year begins with Advent, but self-reflection and goal-setting are good for all of us and the turning of the calendar is as good a time as any to start. This year, why not resolve to be more generous? Lots more ideas here! As we argue in Giving Up, generosity is at the heart of the gospel. [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:27:07-06:00January 8th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Giving Even When You Receive

Last week, I talked about how to encourage generosity at the end of the year by making  Growing generosity is a part of your teaching ministry, and teachers need to be creative. We've talked about getting creative by making a Christmas Wish List for your church. It’s a way to engage the people directly with the needs of the church [...]

Make a Christmas Wish List for Your Church

We've talked a lot about increasing generosity at the end of the year. As we’ve posted elsewhere, the end of the year brings challenges. You’ve got this year’s budget gaps, next year’s budget planning, end-of-the-year appeal letters—it’s a lot. On top of that, Christmas is fast approaching. There are two temptations during seasons like this in ministry. Avoidance I’ve seen [...]

House Calls: A Pastor’s Guide to Talking to Donors

It's the time of year when church leaders are starting to see lots of red—and it isn't always early Christmas decorations! Lots of churches have deficits they need to close by year's end. I have been there many (MANY) times. Sometimes, these gaps are relatively small. All you need is to remember to 'double December' and take a breath. (If [...]

Is Fundraising Really That Hard? #GivingTuesday

In 2012, in response to so-called consumer holidays 'Black Friday' and 'Cyber Monday', New York's 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation partnered to create Giving Tuesday. This November 28, organizations, influencers, and individuals will reach out across their platforms to encourage people to give generously to worthy causes. As I wrote in Giving Up, when ministry leaders ask others [...]

What’s Wrong With My Letter?

Writing an Appeal Letter is about saying "will you" and then "thank you". A few years ago I had to do what every Rector or Sr. Pastor should do about this time of year: write a year-end appeal letter. (If you need convincing that you should, read here.) My church was in the red for the year. Again. I've [...]

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