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Blogs Denis Greene

21 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Casual Fridays

Donald Miller on His Controversial Blog

Last week, I noted the controversy generated by Donald Miller’s blog in noting why he (and several other Christian leaders he knows) don’t regularly attend church, and how this might have to do with differing learning styles.

Last night, Relevant hosted a live Q&A with Miller, receiving questions through a number of different mediums and, not surprisingly, the controversial blog post came up within the first 35 seconds. Within five minutes, Miller noted that it might have been a topic best left unprovoked, but it’s out there now. The complete interview is below:

19 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Stewardship Goes Far Deeper Than Fundraising

Church Development continues its series on why stewardship does not equate to fundraising.

After getting diverted by Donald Miller’s article on why he (and many Christian leaders) don’t regularly attend church, I’m back to finish off this reminder as to why stewardship =/= fundraising. Last time, I explored three points: that giving is evidence of stewardship; stewardship is an element of discipleship; and giving is an evidence of spiritual maturity.

Fundraising is often important and needed, but it is simply methods to secure funding for a project, whereas stewardship may result in more resources for a ministry. However, stewardship is deeper, wider, and fundamentally more spiritual than merely raising money. I’ve seen a number of churches go after financial funds and come away with more resentment than anything else. Stewardship, however, goes after the whole person (their heart)—wanting to see God’s blessings flow through them in every area—and as you engage and connect the person to the church and a growing understanding of God’s goodness, their giving naturally follows.

12 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Misc

Who the Church Fails to Reach

Church Development explores a couple of recent Donald Miller articles on who the standard worship-lecture style church isn’t reaching, and what we should consider doing differently.  

Although I intended to carry on with explaining why stewardship does not equate to fundraising, as occasionally happens with this blog, something came up.

Today’s something involves a couple of articles on church from Donald Miller. If you’re unfamiliar with Miller, he’s a Christian speaker and author whose works focus more on everyday spirituality than dense theological treatises (think of a male version of Anne Lamott). His notable work, Blue Like Jazz, is subtitled “Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality” and was made into a movie in 2012.

So what’s the latest hubbub and what does it mean for today’s church?

6 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Three Thoughts on the Value of Giving and Stewardship

Church Development consistently teaches the key understanding that stewardship is not fundraising. Today’s blog shares three aspects as to why that is.   

In starting out the year, I often like to remind people of key points (as some advice, in any industry, holds true). One such piece was on how to avoid doing a capital campaign in your church. I noted that the key is fixing the lack of stewardship, and while I gave some suggestions, there is a fundamental understanding of stewardship—that key piece churches are missing—that most churches simply don’t get:

Stewardship =/= fundraising.

Now I’ve done blogs on this in the past (see here), as it’s an understanding that is A) seemingly easy forgotten, and B) so important, I’m back to cover it again.

Three things to consider:

4 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

CS Lewis on True Joy

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10 (NIV)

Church Development looks at how C.S. Lewis defined the true source of joy.

One of the topics I continually pursue is how people receive and give joy. In discovering how much joy flows from stewardship, I’ve spent 30 years helping churches cultivate generosity, and most days, I can’t believe I get paid to do this work.

Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one interested in this pursuit of joy and how we can pass it on to others. I’ve previously covered Hungarian professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s study of athletic joy stemming from performing at a high level. To kick off 2014, I looked at the top 10 New Year’s resolutions—which, if we’re honest, we’re doing partly because we think they’ll make us happier—and now here I am returning to C.S Lewis’ 1955 early days autobiography, Surprised by Joy.

30 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Misc

Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is almost upon us, and even though we’ve got an office in Denver, our main focus is not on the teams. One of the issues the church has done a better job of shedding a light on over the last few years is how many women are trafficked into the sex trade at sporting events and what it takes to get them out.

If you haven’t seen this, take the time today:

23 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Church Capital Campaigns

Improving Stewardship, Avoiding a Capital Campaign

Church Development circles back on a common statistic to improve stewardship in your church.

Sometimes I’m tempted to repeat blogs because churches need to hear the same information as time goes by.

One such blog was teaching churches how to avoid doing a capital campaign: The key is to fix the lack of stewardship. I noted that this is a broad, evolving issue, but here’s something you can do to start tackling such a large topic:

17 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Casual Fridays

Hillsong United: “Oceans” at Relevant Studios

If there are two main magazines I recommend Protestant churches keep up with, it's Christianity Today and Relevant. The latter has a great pulse on what younger Christians are into, music included. They have their own studio sessions of popular songs. Today’s pick is “Oceans (Where Feet May Fall” by Hillsong United:

14 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Top 10 Christian New Year's Resolutions... Or Not

Church Development shares some closing thoughts on what New Year's resolutions mean for Christians and the church.

I started this series by listing out the 10 most popular New Year's resolutions followed by what some of these picks mean for your financial message in your church. I had hoped to wrap up this series by delving into the top Christian New year's resolutions, but not every blog goes according to plan:

10 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

How New Year's Resolutions Can Shape Your Church's Financial Messaging

Church Development shares how people’s New Year’s resolutions can shape their interest in your church’s finances.

Last time I covered the top 10 New Year’s resolutions of 2014. While Statistic Brain noted that 34% of all resolutions have something to do with money, three resolutions from the top 10--#8: help people fulfill their dreams; #3: spend less, save more; and #2: get organized—have clearer financial implications than the rest.

So what does this mean when discussing your church finances?

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