Take a Closer Look at the Theology of Your Stewardship and Financial Practices

Can people grow in faith through the act of giving financially? Absolutely. In fact, it seems to be part of God’s plan in Scripture.

Does it happen in ordinary local church life by accident or through hopeful neglect? No. It takes an intentional, discipleship-centered focus to stewardship/fundraising.

I’ve been reading a practical and thought-provoking book by Thomas Jeavons and Rebekah Basinger, Growing Givers’ Hearts: Treating Fundraising As a Ministry (2000). Jeavons and Basinger assert that how the act of giving is elicited and structured significantly impacts whether or not givers grown in faith through the process (p. 111). Givers desire to communicate on a spiritual level, as “giving allows individuals to testify through concrete action to the transforming power of God’s grace in their lives” (p. 112). The local church shouldn’t act just like XYZ-Nonprofit-Org down the street (even if it’s a great secular charity)–givers need to experience giving as an act of faith.

If you’re not sure if your parish/ministry treats financial development like a ministry, check out Growing Givers’ Hearts. It’s not a new book, but it’s one of the richest practical and theological resources out there when it comes to fundraising. Or, for a taste, here’s a link to the “Growing Givers” tag at Basinger’s website.

 

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