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There is an elephant in the room that many churches are trying to ignore: future finances. Many small, struggling churches survive financially today because of the faithful giving of people in the past. When churches were full of the Builder generation, the giving was strong enough to allow many of them to save significant sums […] Read More

All but a few churches in our region are struggling with their finances. Giving is down, expenses are up. Many of the ensuing financial discussions focus on what should be cut to meet ends. We need more insights on how to increase income. I had a recent discussion about church finances with a pastor who […] Read More

So many of the discipleship programs I have been through have focused on teaching me to do religious things like prayer, Bible study and tithing. These are all good things to do. But here’s the thing that stands out to me as I read the gospels: Jesus rarely told his disciples to do religious things. […] Read More

A man left a dime, a nickel and three pennies in an offering envelope at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He wrote these words on the envelope: “Please don’t be mad, I don’t have much. I’m homeless. God bless.” I’ve been convicted recently, as I’ve heard several members from the congregation I […] Read More

Younger adults – people from 18 to 35 years old – have a bad reputation in many circles. “Kids these days,” people say, “don’t take responsibility, and they don’t know how to work hard.” Sometimes this criticism is accurate, deserved. Ironically, Generation X, Generation Y, Millennials and the Entitlement Generation are the groups that politicians […] Read More

It’s budget time at our church. Like most churches at this time of the year, our committees and staff members are working hard to figure out how best to use our tithes and offerings as we plan for the coming year. It’s uncomfortable to talk about money and personal finances anywhere, and it can be […] Read More

I stumbled into Christian stewardship quite by accident. It was not on my list of interests or career choices, but following God is not like mapping out the shortest route on your GPS. As a child I learned to tithe from my father. It was never a legalistic type of thing where you have to […] Read More

What is every pastor’s least favorite sermon topic? If I had to guess what most would list, it would be tithing. It is an oft-avoided topic in many pulpits, perhaps due to a feeling that it will appear to be fundraising for their own salary rather than a call to carry out all the congregation’s […] Read More

Quite often Malachi 3:8-10 will be invoked in a sermon series on stewardship. It makes for a powerful message due to its strong accusation in verses 8-9. “Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me!” the prophet declares on God’s behalf. “But you say, ‘How are we robbing you?'” Malachi continues. “In your tithes […] Read More

People who love the church — in some semblance of the way we have come to know it in the past 100 years — have cause for concern about how long that model will be sustainable. Attendance is generally down, for one thing, as postmoderns and younger generations show less allegiance to the institutional church, […] Read More