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8 Nov. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Stewards of Creation

Church Development lists a few ways that we can be stewards of creation.
As stewardship is such a broad term, I find it’s often easier to define (and build upon) in parts. Like everyone else, I’m a student of stewardship, and God is continually expanding my definition. However, I’ve figured out a few ways that we can be stewards of creation.
The Bible contains a profound message about the stewardship of material creation: God created the world, but entrusts it to us. Caring for and cultivating the world involves the following:
6 Nov. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Bill Johnson on Stewardship

"We have a limited number of days. We also have a limited amount of strength for those days. But we have access to unlimited amount of resources. In ministry we tend to spend what is limited in order to save what is unlimited. Many call that good stewardship." ~Bill Johnson

18 Oct. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

How People View the Church Today

Church Development delves a little deeper into the latest changes in religious makeup in the U.S.

Last time, I covered the latest report from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. It noted that, for the first time, Protestants are not the religious majority in the U.S. at 48% (down from 53% in 2008). Also of note, those listed as unaffiliated from any religion rose from 15% in 2008 to 20% in 2012 -- a number that is likely to continue to go up.

However, there was a quote from the executive summary that really stood out to me:

20 Sep. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

What Stewardship is and is Not

Church Development looks at what stewardship is and what it is not (fundraising).

“Stewardship is everything you do after you say yes to Jesus Christ.” ~Clarence Staughton

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve explored metaphors for stewardship like getting in “the flow,” the concept of spiritual self-actualization, and yes, even French fries, but no matter what new ways I come up with to share the heart of stewardship, I find that I consistently have to break the notion that stewardship is fundraising.

18 Sep. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

On Giving: French Fries

Church Development shares a pulpit example on giving using French fries.

In attending plenty of churches, I’ve heard some great sermons on giving over the years. This is from one that stuck with me:


A dad takes his five-year-old son to the shrine of the golden arches, AKA McDonald’s. He buys his kid a happy meal, and as they’re sharing a TV commercial moment, the dad asks his son to share some French fries. The son, of course, says, “No.”

13 Sep. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Achieving Spiritual Self-Actualization

By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development looks at psychologist Abraham Maslow's principle of self-actualization and how this applies to stewardship.

Last week I talked about athletes and how they get into what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi refers to as "the flow" -- a euphoric condition where they achieve a state “without awareness of time and space.” In the same way, stewardship is a means of getting into the flow spiritually when we discover and employ the gifts God has given us.

American psychologist Abraham Maslow had a different perspective in his seminal research on human behavior (and, if nothing else, his name sure is easier to say). Like last time, it's a helpful example that can shape our understanding of what stewardship should be:

4 Sep. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

On Tithing: That Last 5%

Church Development gives a final thought on tithing and how it’s indicative of a level of trust in God.

In the last two blogs on tithing, 5% has come up a couple of times in that:

  1. Only 5% of churchgoers tithe; and
  2. Although the average churchgoer gives 2% of his/her income to nonprofits, they have the ability to give 5%.

This got me thinking about one more 5%—the second 5% that most churchgoers don’t have the ability to give—bringing their giving up to the tithe level (10% of income).

From what I’ve seen, the increase in giving from 2% to 5% is made primarily from a) being passionate about something God is doing in the church; and b) being intentional about how you spend your money. However, the increase from 5% to 10% is mostly made up of something else:

21 Aug. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Fundraising vs. Stewardship

Church Development shares the distinction between fundraising and stewardship.

Whenever I hold a workshop, one of the points I often make is that stewardship is not fundraising. Fundraising is asking for a donation, a secular approach, whereas stewardship is the spiritual way. In stewardship, we facilitate the discovery of God’s blessings and the prayerful development of how to share those blessings.

In mathematics, we often use subsets to describe properties that are contained within another (the diagram to the left shows how A is a subset of B). However, subsets occur in day-to-day life, too, and stewardship is no different. Fundraising is an exchange—trading one thing for another—making it a subset (or an inner part) of marketing, whereas stewardship is a subset of prayer: another area of discerning God’s will in your life.

26 Jul. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Will I Dilute or Wear Out Givers?

Church Development gives some final thoughts on the importance of asking, as well as addressing the concerns of “wearing out” or “diluting” givers with too many asks.

By ( [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsIn wrapping up this series on the importance of asking in stewardship, I want to address the concern that I often hear: “If I ask people to give to a capital campaign, won’t that simply come out of regular giving?”

It’s a logical question; however, as Colorado consultant Alan Miller says, "In a capital campaign, many people give from a different 'pocket' than their regular giving." He explains that giving to the annual budget and church activities typically comes from regular income sources (like paychecks or retirement income), whereas capital campaign giving often comes from savings, stocks and other long-term assets.

And what about asking people to give too often?

24 Jul. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Key Component of Asking: Prayer and Discernment Development shares the importance of prayer and discernment in the asking part of stewardship.

In continuing the series on the importance of asking in stewardship, I wanted to focus on a very important part of the ask: the need for prayer and discernment. Although I’ve covered these aspects in a series before, as they’re a cornerstone of Church Development capital campaigns (and a key difference from other capital campaign experts), I want to remind you of the heart and the benefits of prayer and discernment.

Each bullet point will link to additional information: