Extravagant Generosity by John Fair

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This is from a clergy association presentation in the Petersburg, VA District of the United Methodist Church.

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  • Stewardship focus is on operating the farm and requirements to keep the equipment oiled and animals cared for Generosity has its focus on the relationship with the owner of the farm Generosity is an act of worship
  • http://www.bluefishtv.com/Store/Video_Illustrations/2554/Giving/f=s1&s=stewardship
  • Creation Stories -- God’s Covenant with Creation through Abram and Sari …
  • キ  Joe is reviewing his finances for the month and is considering his charitable giving. He ponders: How much money does the church need this year? How do I feel about how things are going at church these days? Times are tight, so can I really spare any more? キ  Sue is reviewing her finances for the month and is considering the same stewardship matter of her financial resources. She is thinking: God has blessed me in so many ways. How do I feel God is calling to respond to those blessings?
  • The focus of our giving defines the state of our souls
  • What is the mission of the church? Who is the head of the church? What are the fruits of our giving?
  • Three essential pockets of resources undergirding financial security: Wall Street Bank Estate and Life / Property Insurance Policies
  • Three primary sources to give from: Dividend Distributions and Interest Earnings Take home pay (Income) Estate (before and after death) Ask people to tithe from these
  • This is about encouraging a generous spirit -- STORIES!!! Narrative budget relates dollars to faces and helps to end the concept of designated giving by helping people see the integrated whole of the Body of Christ Personal Testimonies of receiving generosity and offering generosity -- why they give and personal struggles to give Tell their intentions of increasing commitment and asking others to encourage them and support them
  • Leader-driven to grow generous disciples See generosity as an everyday opportunity Uncommitted leaders cannot lead
  • Do not disclose to the greater congregation but only within the circle of supporting leadership Build trust among leadership and trust within congregation will spread Leaders are to disclose / confide / confess / celebrate / act / re-commit together often
  • We are a community and not isolated persons -- mutual support required for accountability Spiritual growth is a community endeavor The desire for a generous heart only comes through acts of generosity
  • Meeting the Biblical expectation is our sign of covenantal commitment -- minimum sacrifice is tithe God continues to expect we will not be wasteful with the other 90%
  • Task: Connect others to Christ!!! Relational -- We give to what / whom we love!
  • Example Roadmap for action might include the following: Regular stewardship preaching not focused on budget requirements, but on faith response to God’s generosity and our response of giving 100 % of our selves in worship -- include in liturgy, prayers, etc … Provide financial planning workshops to assist people in strategies for planning use of their financial resources Greater emphasis on Biblical stewardship as vision and offer in new-member classes, confirmation classes, leadership training, etc … Send thank you notes often to those who give and encourage them in their faith
  • Stewardship is not an event but a 24/7 365 day a year exercise in faithfulness
  • Planning results in a process of traveling from one point to another. Planning for Peace is a transformational process seeking to move a body of people from one context to a new context. Such a process requires skillful approaches that leads a body of people from one orientation to a completely new orientation. The starting point is always grasping their current reality -- that is, the context and the history that has produced the culture and society. The first step in transformation is to help the body fully embrace their current reality. The second step is to help them look beyond and see a new vision, one that the community participates in developing and owning. With the transformational map drawn, planning steps are taken to identify and schedule courses of actions (COAs) and allocation of resources to complete the tasks sourced. To understand Lederach’s approach in this chart is to look at the four levels of human relationships: Personal (emotion, physical, spiritual); Relational (face-to-face human interaction); Structural (group level interactions and identity); and Cultural (group-to-group human interactions). The struggle is usually around core-values (those values we react out of that define what is and what is not important to us) … it is easy for us make ourselves believe through wishful thinking that our core values are other than what they are … so, using the chart above we work to define and accept our current state and then look for ways to move ourselves into the new vision and set of core values …
  • Two Relational Models: 1. Membership Model: Out-source the member’s task of relating others to Jesus Christ and sees giving as way of gaining services rendered -- consumer oriented. Relationship is with the congregation as a service organization. 2. Discipleship Model: Has a loving relationship with Jesus Christ through commitment to the congregation. Integrates the “ how ” and the “ why. ” Membership Giving 1. Give money to help others do ministry 2. Give to maintain institution and buildings 3. Give as way of living moral life according to citizenship rules * Undergirding assumptions: ・ Mission field is elsewhere beyond their reach ・ Goal is to get and keep members to share the burden and sustain the institution ・ The congregation will not expect more than this from their members Discipleship Giving 1. Give so that they can do ministry together 2. Give as part of their love relationship with Jesus 3. Committed to the congregation as a vital witness to Reign of God * Undergirding assumptions ・ Mission field begins at the front door ・ Give to achieve the goal of connecting others with Jesus Christ ・ Have high expectations of disciples Summary: Membership Giving: Raise enough money to pay the bills next year Discipleship Giving: Give to help people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the empowerment of their time, talents/Spiritual Gifts, and finances God has given them. Overarching Giving Goal: Transform giving as an intellectual exercise and revive its original relational spirit. *Adapted from Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation by Charles R. Lane (Chapter 1 and 2).
  • Extravagant Generosity by John Fair

    1. 1. Stewardship A Measure of Spiritual Fitness
    2. 2. Stewardship Ask the Question: Is there a difference between the concept of stewardship and generosity? Discuss
    3. 3. Stewardship Ask the Question: True of False, Generosity begets generosity? Discuss
    4. 4. Stewardship Watch Blue Fish TV And Discuss
    5. 5. Stewardship Brainstorm the subject of growing generous disciples: What do you need to do personally to grow in generosity? In what way(s) can you help lead your congregation to grow in generosity?
    6. 6. Stewardship An NPR program on Generosity: Generous behavior makes us feel good. (Chemistry in the Brain) What is the theological basis for this?
    7. 7. Spirit of Stewardship <ul><li>Psalm 24: The earth is the Lord’s and all that is within it … </li></ul><ul><li>There is no transfer of ownership. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>God gives but retains ownership of the gift. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God gives us power to gain wealth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God is the source of our in-gathering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gift must be passed on else it becomes personal property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING!! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gen 12ff </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. What Is Stewardship? <ul><li>Steward ’ship </li></ul><ul><li>Likely comes from old English for sty-warden or one who watches over the owner’s livestock (pigs) </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson learned here: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The steward did not own the livestock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The steward cared for the livestock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The steward cares for the owner’s possessions both for the benefit of the owner and for the benefit of others who depend on the owner for their well being (see Luke 20). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The steward has the immediate ear of the master and sits at the highest place in the household </li></ul><ul><li>Humanity sit at the highest place of God’s economic kingdom (Psalm 8) </li></ul>
    9. 9. Biblical Stewardship as Vision The goal of stewardship ministry is to help God’s people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the use of the time, talents, {Spiritual Gifts,} and finances God has entrusted them. Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry In Your Congregation, by Charles R. Lane Task: Transforming members of congregations into disciples of Jesus Christ Shifting relationship from church to God Story of two ways of giving?
    10. 10. State of Our Souls Two questions: How much money does the church need? OR God has blessed me in so many ways, how do I feel God is calling me to respond to those blessings? Can we know what the soul is related to in each question?
    11. 11. Why People Give? <ul><li>Three secular reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in the mission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People give to what is effective </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Belief in the leadership / staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People give to effective relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Belief in fiscal solvency of the organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People give when they see good financial practices </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Three Pockets of Finances Fiscally responsible people try to establish their “three legged stool” for financial security “ Three Musts:” Personal Safety / Security / Health $ Stock/Bonds Savings/Money Market Estate/Insurance
    13. 13. Three Pockets of Giving Sources of wealth to give from $ Dividend Income Pay Check / Income Will / After Death Estate: Assign 10 % in will & testament E.G. Tithe in all areas Tithe is simply a measure of sacrificial commitment
    14. 14. Anecdotal Stories of Giving Writing Narrative Budgets * People today want to know what they are buying: Impact! Doing Personal Witnessing Having People tell why they give where they give Having people witness to what they are going to do to grow in their giving
    15. 15. Chosen for Leadership More often than not, people are chosen as leaders because they are perceived as invested persons, when in the end they simply talk a lot. Authentic Leaders Give Generously Stewardship is a spiritual work that is lived out 365 days a year Financial giving needs to be a measure for leadership Put into leadership positions those who give generously their resources to the church
    16. 16. Clergy / Laity Disclose Create an atmosphere of high expectations for discipleship and stewardship Lead by example Pastor fully discloses to leadership income and giving Lay leadership expected to do the same people will grumble -- their hearts will be exposed Everyone will grow in discipleship
    17. 17. Discipleship Expectations <ul><li>Discipleship </li></ul><ul><li>Disciplined reading of scripture and prayer daily </li></ul><ul><li>Fasting one 24 hour period monthly (then weekly) </li></ul><ul><li>Fasting regularly from things / relationships to which one clings </li></ul><ul><li>Involved in weekly small group for study or prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Serve one mission area of the church </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly attend worship and regularly receive sacrament of Holy Communion </li></ul><ul><li>Grow giving 2 % each year until reaching tithe </li></ul><ul><li>Have completed a financial program and plan </li></ul>
    18. 18. Notional Disclosure & Plan $45,804.00 INCOME $2,800.00 Inv Div $48,604.00 Gross (pre tax) 3% (local church and conference) $1,458.12 5% (goal for 2012) $2,430.20 10% (goal for 2013) $4,860.40
    19. 19. Tithing in Bible Tithe first fruits (gross and not post-tax) given to support the institutional structures of the religion (e.g: Gen 28: 20-22 & Neh 10:37) The three-year tithe given to care for the poor and needy every three years (Deut 26:12ff) Gross aggregated giving is 13 1/3 % per annum This minimum
    20. 20. Jesus Says: <ul><li>The poor you will always have with you … </li></ul><ul><li>Is he prescribing this to be a true and permanent state of our social life live together? That we can do nothing about it? </li></ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul><ul><li>Is he describing the way it is because he knows we cling to the gifts God has given and fear to use for the reasons given to us? </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus wants our souls first and then our mammon </li></ul>
    21. 21. Ten Things To Do <ul><li>Pastor first gets his / her act together </li></ul><ul><li>Enlist leadership to help build a “high expectation culture resulting in discipling transformation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Membership class for all members (old and new) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inculcate commitment within all new members before uniting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solicit weekly witnessing from members /staff </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate on-going financial planning / stewardship classes as part of # 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Preach directly on money once a quarter </li></ul>
    22. 22. Five More <ul><li>Target all correspondence as marketing strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use all methods of communication that fits demographics and giving abilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spend more time with major donors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>State of their soul requires this </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write ten thank you notes a week </li></ul><ul><li>Review individual giving monthly </li></ul><ul><li>Always prepare a narrative budget that tells the story of lives being changed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Never again send out a line-item budget </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Create Extravagant Generosity Stewardship becomes a part of a person’s soul through their living generously every day This requires a concentrated effort on behalf of the church to hold up the vision, encourage, instruct, and hold accountable Remember the task: Helping disciples make Jesus the center of their heart.
    24. 24. Change Hearts? Sound Biblical Stewardship requires changing of hearts. True / False ?? Want a stronger heart, then exercise it / Want an extravagantly generous heart -- then give extravagantly until the heart is changed.
    25. 25. Giving Core Theme of Stewardship What, how and where people give of their financial resources is one true metric (measurement) for evaluating Transformation in that person’s life -- … for knowing that person’s heart
    26. 26. Fitness Every effective organization has annual fitness reports Congregation’s annual fitness report is the evaluation of that communities giving The state of a person’s soul can be measured by that person’s spirit of generosity. Pastors need to know what people give Christ’s warning about riches is our model: Our souls and pocketbooks are related
    27. 27. Pastor as Fundraiser <ul><li>People want pastors to ask them to give: </li></ul><ul><li>It makes them feel counted </li></ul><ul><li>It invites them to belong and take ownership </li></ul><ul><li>It commits them to become a part of something larger than themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone likes to be invited to the party </li></ul>
    28. 28. 12-Month Process <ul><li>Month One: Assess past giving performance (# giving units etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Month Two: Seek key lay-leaders support (and pastor as well) </li></ul><ul><li>Month Three and Four: Engage key congregational leadership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Circle groups, small home groups, listening groups to talk about generous giving as spiritual discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek guidance on actions to take to grow spirit of generosity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite leadership to take ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not use survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop and recommend a road-map for action </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transformation is concentrated 365-day/year level of work </li></ul><ul><li>From : Creating Congregations of Generous People by Michael Durall </li></ul>
    29. 29. 12-Month Process-Cont <ul><li>Month Five, Six and Seven: Report findings and identify actions to larger church leadership body </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on key leadership and begin to develop narrative budgets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Month Eight and Nine: Begin focus on next levels of leadership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeat of what was done with key leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enlist this level to implement road-map to realize the program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Month Ten and Eleven: Celebrate what is going to happen </li></ul><ul><li>Month Twelve: Worship </li></ul><ul><li>Transformation is concentrated 365-day/year level of work </li></ul><ul><li>From : Creating Congregations of Generous People by Michael Durall </li></ul>
    30. 30. Transformation Process Actions Resources Future Reality Vision Current Reality Remember: It’s a journey from “here to there.”
    31. 31. Stewardship A Measure of Spiritual Fitness
    32. 32. What one new thing are you going to do this year?
    33. 33. Reading Key pastoral leadership first read: Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation, by Charles R. Lane (theological basis) Key stewardship leadership read: Creating Congregations of Generous People, by Michael Durall (contextual reality and ways to work with it)

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