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7 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

2014’s Top New Year’s Resolutions

Church Development shares the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2014.

It’s a new year. That means it’s time for a slew of resolutions to struggle for survival. Here are the top 10 from Statistic Brain:

10. Spend more time with family

9. Fall in love

8. Help others in their dreams

7. Quit smoking

6. Learn something exciting

23 Dec. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Misc

Now is the Time for Joy

May the joy of remembering Jesus' birth (and all it means for us each day) bless your home this Christmas. The Church Development blog will return in 2014.

19 Dec. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Generosity

End-of-Year Ask Letter Checklist

Church Development shares a checklist and some closing thoughts on writing an end-of-year ask letter.

In wrapping up this series on the value of an end-of-year gift letter, I want to cover any parts I may have missed. Obviously there’s still some content to be filled in, and while I don’t have a sample letter here (we have capital campaign materials like that available when you sign up for free for The Stewardship System), this checklist should help.

Here’s what we discussed already (see here and here for more detail):

12 Dec. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Generosity

Writing Your End-of-Year Ask Letter: First Paragraph

Church Development shares how to effectively write the first paragraph to your church’s end-of-year ask letter.

In continuing this series on the importance of an end-of-year ask letter, it’s time to cover the first paragraph. As noted last time, the first paragraph is not actually what people look at first, but now that you’ve structured your letter in the four ways I covered and you’ve passed the subconscious smell test, let’s focus on your hook:

10 Dec. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Generosity

How to Structure an Effective End-of-Year Ask Letter

Church Development covers how to structure a financial ask letter from your church.

Last time I shared why December is one of the most important months to ask your congregation for a financial gift. As 25% of charitable donations are made in the month of December, and January is also a top giving month, an end-of–year ask letter is key to engaging consistent and irregular attendees of your church.

There’s just one problem: Many people don’t read.

With this in mind, let’s talk about how to effectively set up your ask letter:

6 Dec. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Generosity

The Importance of December Generosity in Your Church

Church Development shares popular giving months—including December—and what this means for the end-of-year wrap-up at your church.   

Last time I mentioned how thankfulness should continue with Advent. If we look at people's giving habits in December, it apparently does.

Taxes are a Factor

The three highest giving months for churches are January, May and December, and yes, tax season plays a factor in each. May sneaks in right before the classic summer giving slump, but it also shows up after most of us have filed our taxes the month before. In knowing what we’re getting back or owe on the year, we’re often able to turn our attention to the needs of others.

Now that it’s December, the Salvation Army bell ringers are back collecting for charity. Smart move, as December is...

3 Dec. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Generosity

Thankfulness and Advent

Give thanks to the God of heaven / His love endures forever.   – Psalm 136:26 (NIV)

Church Development shares some insight from John 6 for us to be thankful for during Advent.

Whether it was navigating familial tensions, Black Friday/Brown Thursday shopping aisles, or Cyber Monday online deals, hopefully you survived Thanksgiving with a thankful heart intact.

However, gratitude shouldn’t end with November. Especially not now that it’s Advent. Sure, 24 days of calendar chocolate is nice, but this nearly month-long process came about in the 4th or 5th century when Christians wanted a deeper celebration to honor the advent (or arrival) of the Savior into the world.

I was struck by something Jesus said in John 6:50-51 lately:

26 Nov. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Misc

“Rock Star Worship Leaders” Are Losing Their Appeal

Church Development shares an article on changing attitudes towards “rock star worship leaders.”

I’ve used most of my blog posts this month answering how to reach young people / Millennials in churches (as that’s the question we hear most at our workshops).

In one of my first posts on the matter, I noted that Millennials desire authenticity and their leaders being relatable. With this in mind, it was no surprise to me to see this article, “Rock Star Worship Leaders Are Getting Fired," making the rounds.

So what is a Rock Star Worship Leader (or RSWL)?

21 Nov. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Church Needs for Millennials: Mission

By Steve Kalinsky [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development shares how young people / Millennials value mission work.

In continuing this series on how to reach young people, we come to an interesting topic: missions.

While I’ve already covered authenticity and being relatable, then connection and the need for more than a Sunday experience, we arrive at this specific niche, where even how Millennials give in this area is different.

In noting that Millennials desire more than just a church service in a week, I covered the value of meaningful connection in places like small groups and volunteer opportunities. Not surprisingly, this means you can’t just plan a slew of events outside of Sunday mornings and expect it to work for this demographic. Generation Y wants to feel like it’s making a difference, and missions work can help fill a number of desires.

15 Nov. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Misc

Typhoon Haiyan Update from the Philippines

Yesterday I shared an on-the-ground account from the Philippines in the aftermath of super Typoon Haiyan / Yolanda and requested that you'd join with us in prayer for this hurting country. 

Arise Ministires International sent out this update (excerpt):

(A)nyone that was in a one story building did not survive. Those that were in a two-story structure at least had the chance to get to the roof. People said they went as high as they could go, and when they could not go higher they were swept away. They would try and grab anything to hold onto and the only thing most people could grab that was higher than the water were the coconut trees.  With tears in his voice Jack told me how so many people just couldn’t hold on to their children when they were swept away. I can’t even write this now without tears pouring down. This is something that would be absolutely horrific to live through. Just the thought of watching my child be whisked away by flood waters when there is nothing I can do to save them makes my stomach hurt. There are so many children that were killed.  My prayers are with those parents.

You can read the complete update here and can donate here (100% of proceeds go directly to restoration efforts and all LifeChange International donations are tax deductible).