The Zagginess of Holiness

When I was writing Giving Up, I discovered an unlikely source of insight in Zag: The Number One Strategy of High Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier. The foundational principle is that successful brands don’t follow the crowd—they don’t look at the leaders in the marketplace and try to latch on and say “Me too!” Instead, [...]

Giving Even When You Receive

Last week, I talked about how to encourage generosity at the end of the year by making a Christmas Wish List for your church. It’s a way to engage the people directly with the needs of the church in a way that opens opportunity instead of laying on burdens. Growing generosity is a part of [...]

By | 2017-12-11T11:04:58+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Generosity, Giving Up, MInistry, Stewardship|0 Comments

Make a Christmas Wish List for Your Church

Before Thanksgiving, I had the chance to lead a webinar with the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others to talk about increasing generosity at the end of the year. As we’ve posted elsewhere, the end of the year brings challenges. You’ve got this year’s budget gaps, next year’s budget planning, end-of-the-year appeal letters—it’s [...]

House Calls: A Pastor’s Guide to Talking to Donors

It's the time of year when church leaders are starting to see lots of red—and it isn't always early Christmas decorations! Lots of churches have deficits they need to close by year's end. I have been there many (MANY) times. Sometimes, these gaps are relatively small. All you need is to remember to 'double December' [...]

By | 2017-11-15T14:09:42+00:00 November 16th, 2017|Generosity, Giving Up, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry, Stewardship|Comments Off on House Calls: A Pastor’s Guide to Talking to Donors

Is Fundraising Really That Hard? #GivingTuesday

In 2012, in response to so-called consumer holidays 'Black Friday' and 'Cyber Monday', New York's 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation partnered to create Giving Tuesday. This November 28, organizations, influencers, and individuals will reach out across their platforms to encourage people to give generously to worthy causes. As I wrote in Giving Up, [...]

By | 2017-11-07T13:47:06+00:00 November 15th, 2017|Generosity, Giving Up|Comments Off on Is Fundraising Really That Hard? #GivingTuesday

What’s Wrong With My Letter?

Writing an Appeal Letter is about saying "will you" and then "thank you". A few years ago I had to do what every Rector or Sr. Pastor should do about this time of year: write a year-end appeal letter.  My church (Christ Church in Plano) was in the red for the year. Again. [...]

By | 2017-11-07T08:13:40+00:00 November 7th, 2017|Generosity, Giving Up, Pastoral Ministry|Comments Off on What’s Wrong With My Letter?

End the Year on a Generous Note

On this blog, I try to provide tactical advice on growing generosity in the church. Every church leader knows that giving is especially vital as the year winds to a close. The end may be nigh upon us, but there is no need to feel like you are scrambling to get your message out about [...]

By | 2017-10-18T21:30:15+00:00 October 19th, 2017|Generosity, Giving Up, Stewardship|Comments Off on End the Year on a Generous Note

Practices of Love by David Kyle Bennett

When we think about spiritual disciplines, many of us default to the idea of a ‘quiet time’ or a ‘daily devotion.’ Some of us will automatically think of Richard Foster or Dallas Willard or other luminary on the subject. No matter our starting point, our imagination for the ultimate purpose of spiritual disciplines is often [...]

By | 2017-10-16T16:21:08+00:00 October 17th, 2017|Generosity, Giving Up, MInistry|Comments Off on Practices of Love by David Kyle Bennett

Hack Next Year’s Budget

It is that time of year again. Budget time! As pastors, leaders, vestries, and boards are wringing their hands about the close of this year, plans for next year are being drawn up. Over the years I developed a few ‘hacks’ for church leaders. I’ve collected a few of these tips, tricks, and rules of [...]

By | 2017-10-12T06:14:21+00:00 October 11th, 2017|Bible History, Generosity, Giving Up, Pastoral Ministry, Stewardship|Comments Off on Hack Next Year’s Budget

Resurrect Houston

 In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, I've been so encouraged to hear about the work of Missio Dei Anglican Church in the Eastend of downtown Houston. They’ve named their relief efforts Resurrect Houston. Their rector, Mark Ball, sent word of how—in the midst of overwhelming need—they’ve found a place to start. Thanh Tam Villiage is [...]

By | 2017-10-06T09:10:51+00:00 September 18th, 2017|Generosity|Comments Off on Resurrect Houston