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18 Jan. 2018 Posted by Tom Minges in Stewardship

Church Giving and the new tax law

The new tax law passed by Congress and signed by the president in December may affect church donations.

Although charitable contributions will continue to be deductible under the new law, an increase in the amount of the standard deduction is expected to discourage some donors from claiming the charitable deduction.

13 Jun. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Casual Fridays

Nick Vujicic on Generosity

Inspirational speaker Nick Vujicic shares a motivational minute on generosity:

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22 Oct. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Generosity

Relevant Magazine: "3 Ways to Stop Stressing About Giving”

Church Development shares a starter article on charitable giving.

Relevant Magazine recently featured an article called “3 Ways to Stop Stressing About Giving.”

Like most articles on the topic, it acknowledges the awkwardness around giving, and it doesn’t cover everything. What it is, however, is a great starter article that you can share with your church. It notes that there might not be a magic feeling or 100% perfect cause, and while the methods might vary, where your heart should be on giving is the same:

7 May. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

The Ultimate Steward

By Doctorqmd (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development shares some more stewardship thoughts on the parable of the tenants in Matthew 25:14-30 using George Leonard’s The Ultimate Athlete.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’  -- Matthew 25:21/23 (NIV)

Last time, I shared a piece of trivia on the parable of the tenants (or bags of gold). In continuing to focus on that parable, I want to compare it with a hypothesis from George Leonard. In the parable of the talents, the landlord took the one talent of the bitter servant who buried it, and gave it to the one who had used his talents well.

In his book, The Ultimate Athlete, George Leonard hypothesizes as to who the greatest athlete is. I’ll give you a hint: It’s not Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Bruce Jenner, or Usian Bolt. So who is it?

2 May. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Trivia: The Parable of the Talents

By Swiss Banker [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development shares a Bible trivia question on the parable of the talents.

I recently flubbed a piece of Bible trivia in regards to stewardship.

I should’ve known the answer, given that I’ve spent the last 30 years teaching the value of stewardship to churches, but I was wrong. Let’s see how you do: In the parable of the talents (or bags of gold), the owner gives three workers differing talents—one, two, and five—before going on a trip. Upon returning, he brings them in to settle the accounts. In the end, how many talents did the worker who started with five talents have?

30 Apr. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Quick Stats

The Root of Unleashing Good in the World

By Billy Hathorn (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsChurch Development shows how, by the numbers, Scripture overwhelmingly promotes giving.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.– John 3:16 (NKJV)

What would you say are the major themes of the Bible? Your list probably includes belief, prayer, and love. After all, the most famous Scripture there is—the one pastors dedicate whole sermons to, the one people are likeliest to know (unless you’re a kid being paid to memorize Bible verses at church, then it’s John 11:35: “Jesus wept”), the gospel in a nutshell—this famous Scripture begins with, “For God so loved the world…”

However, when we consider the next few words in John 3:16, another key theme becomes apparent:

19 Feb. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Tithe Secrets

Tithe Secrets: Client Comments on Tithing

In tithe secrets, Church Development shares how those who give 10%+ of their income to the church came to that realization. Today’s blog shares some of the tithe comments we received from a 2010 study.

Usually in tithe secrets I focus on one specific tither story, but for this particular blog, I’m just going to share four perspectives: One who viewed sharing as normal, another as logical, one who (sadly) viewed tithing as a way to avoid hell, and the last who believed we were made to share blessings:

24 Jan. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Overused Phrases

The Israelites Struggled with Tithing, Too

By Russian Icon Painter (Greek and Russian Orthodox Icon) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsIn overused phrases, Church Development takes the statements that, for better or worse, are cliché in today’s world and sees if they still have a valid place. Today’s blog covers the statement that the Israelites had to tithe way more than 10%.

Depending on what standard you use, some scholars will argue that the Israelites were required to give multiple tithes far above the 10% standard rate we often hear today. A safe estimate is 23.3%. If you’ve heard this number, you’ve usually heard it in conjunction with a teaching that we have it way easier than they did, so giving 10% should be easy.

There are just a couple of problems: 1) Tithing is not easy for people (as covered in several other blogs: 95-97% of people don’t tithe); and 2) A good chunk of the Israelites didn’t pay that 23.3% number either. 

Do you know how I know this? The answer lies in Nehemiah.

22 Jan. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

What to Look For in Stewardship Team Members

Last time I noted some of the reasons why a stewardship committee is one of the hardest teams to fill in your church. This time I’ll note some of the common characteristics and problem areas you’ll have to look for and address with your stewardship team members:

Relevant Skill Set

8 Jan. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

New Year, Same Issues (Mostly)

Church Development looks at a Barna study on the temptations people struggle with coming into 2013. As money issues often come out high on the list, Church Development breaks down how it impacts different demographics. 

As it's the time of year for resolutions, the Barna Group released a list of temptations people commonly struggle with, and what's changed coming into 2013. The answer? Not much. However, two new and rising additions to the list are "going off" on someone via email or text (11% of adults surveyed) and spending too much time on media (44%).

Past that though, it's the same old temptations -- worrying/being anxious (60%), eating too much (55%), gossiping (26%), viewing pornography (18%), and lying/cheating (12%) -- tripping people up. Not surprisingly, the temptation of spending too much money came in high on the list, with 44% of adults surveyed admitting to the issue. However, it should be noted that the more serious the sin, the less willing people (seemingly) were to admit it. Overall, temptation keeps evolving in the digital age.

In terms of people spending too much money, however, how is that different in 2013, and do the statistics shift for different demographics?