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Summer 2014

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The theme for Summer 2014 is “Money Matters.”

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Steward Leader

Transforming our roles

If you are anything like me, when you think about entering Jesus’ presence in heaven, I am sure you desire to hear what he said to the trustworthy stewards in the parable of the talents, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt. 25:21). Have you ever thought about what Jesus would say to you when he examines how you handled the leadership responsibilities he entrusted to you?

Jesus taught the para...

Stewards on Staff

Equipping employees in personal finance

We love to use the word stewardship; it connotes a biblical vision for how we manage the resources of our organizations in a God-honoring way. As leaders in the religious world, much of our work depends on the generosity of donors and the careful management of legacy funds and endowments. We have faith and hope in a God-held future, and we take seriously our responsibility to manage what we have today so God can multiply i...

The Coming Generosity Boom

This generation can change everything for your ministry.

When it comes to giving generously, not a lot has changed in the past century. For example, according to John and Sylvia Ronsvalle in The State of Church Giving through 2011 (23rd edition, 2013) in 1921, for every $100 earned, the typical Christian in the U.S. gave away $2.90. In 2011, for every $100 earned, the typical Christian gave away $2.32 — $1.98 to the church, $0.34 to causes outside...

Big Picture Financial Management

Four ways to strengthen your ministry

Being responsible for the accounting and financial operations of a ministry is no small task. While the glory lies with the programs and direct ministry, the support roles of an organization are equally important. Without them, none of the programs and ministry could happen.

The fifth module in the Financial Management track of the CLA Online Academy, for which I serve as content contributor, is called “Big ...

The Stewards Next Door

Lessons in giving learned early in life

When I was boy growing up in Wichita Falls, Texas, my siblings and I would often ride our Big Wheels across our driveway, down the sidewalk, and up to the front porch of our next-door neighbors’ house. We were allowed to open the brass mail slot in their front door and if we smelled fresh baked cookies, we knew we could knock, go in, and have some. To this day, I remember how much we loved those cookies! And as you m...

Boards and Fundraising

Why "skin in the game" is vital

Fundraising at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas is a team effort. President Steve Vanderhill shares, “I see myself setting the school’s vision, articulating its mission, gathering resources, and coordinating personnel.” Redeemer trustees sign a ministry covenant agreeing to “introduce, invite, and encourage” others to support the seminary. They pray, share their wisdom, communicate the vision wit...

Turbo-Powered Finance

Your finance team can accelerate ministry!

When I evaluate people for openings on my team, I place a premium on character.

“Wow! I am not used to that kind of acceleration and power … ,” I muttered to myself in my empty rental car on a recent business trip. My “sports car” rental provided a much different driving experience than my four-cylinder economy car back home. Normally, when I step on the gas in my...

Books to Consider

Great insights on Christian leadership, money matters, and more!

 

Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches
By Peter Greer and Chris Horst (Bethany House Publishers, 2014)

Too often, as Christian organizations grow, the gospel often becomes cursory, expendable, or even forgotten. Often, leaders have watched their ministries, businesses, and nonprofits professionalize, expand, a...

Clarity Amidst Cacophony

Getting noticed in a distracted world

It has been said by many that the age we’re living in right now could well be the most distracted in all of human history. Researchers say at minimum we are bombarded with 3,000 images per day. The problem is that we only notice half of what flashes before our eyes. Our brains have become increasingly numb to this massive infiltration of noise into our minds. We simply cannot process 3,000 visual “pop-ups” ...

Donors First

A new paradigm for maximizing fundraising

At the heart of major gift fundraising is a strong relationship with donors: growing relationships with existing donors and building relationships with new donors. Building a new relationship with a donor begins by gaining trust. Frequently the first barrier we face is an irrational fear from the donor that somehow we are going to “take” money from them that they don’t want to give. The single most chal...