Stewardship, Christian

Preaching Stewardship to Encourage Growth in Missional Outreach in a Small Urban Church

Author
Jeryl Salmond
Abstract
Like so many other congregations, small churches are suffering from declining membership, and many have closed their doors. This decline has caused many pastors to be concerned about their ability to survive. As a consequence, churches have focused on survival tactics which result in an inward focused church in order to safeguard their limited resources. This inward focus minimizes missional ministry and ignores the pain and brokenness of people in the community that surrounds the church. This issue is particularly impactful in the urban context, where social challenges are prevalent and evidenced by the visible amount of homelessness, hunger, and poverty in the community. This thesis investigates the utilization of preaching stewardship to encourage growth in missional outreach in a small urban church. The preacher must be intentional about developing and delivering sermons that demonstrate the symmetry between stewardship and outreach ministry. This project focused on a small urban church and seeks to demonstrate that preaching stewardship is influential in encouraging growth in missional outreach to offset the needs of the community beyond the church.

Asking, giving, and receiving : a practical spirituality of Christian fundraising in Young Life

Author
Kevin A Eastway
Abstract
This thesis will recast fundraising from a mostly secularized approach to one that views fundraising as a spiritual practice. Young Life staff members are trained in how to proclaim the gospel and program activities in terms of discipleship and spiritual formation, yet field staff members have been trained to use a different paradigm that is secularized for fundraising. There is potential for a language shift and corresponding paradigm shift in fundraising training that could guide the Young Life fundraiser to venture into a more familiar and theological concept: community instead of commerce and spiritual formation instead of commodification.
The two core research questions that I am addressing in this project are: In what ways does raising support for Young Life connect to the practice of faith? And, how can fundraising be re-conceived in terms of Christian spirituality? Data has been collected from personal interviews, Young Life archives, books written about Young Life, and published reports within the organization. This project aims to discover the fundraising history of Young Life, critically analyze this history, extend a practical spirituality of fundraising while exploring theologies of asking, giving, and receiving, and provide adaptations for current problematic financial models in the organization.

Preaching to Develop the Spirit of Generosity: A Serendipitous Journey of Faith

Author
Kay F. Albury D.Min.
Abstract
This project will focus on how preaching can develop a spirit of generosity in the life of the church. The purpose of this project is two-fold: First, the intent is to help a congregation re-examine the challenges that interfere with trusting God’s generous abundance of resources that are available each day. Second, this project will help the congregation discover and then utilize the resources that God provides each day. These resources reflect God’s justice and love. In order to accomplish these two tasks, the project will draw from the richness of biblical scripture, as well as prominent theologians and scholars, to show that preaching is a useful tool that can improve the level of generosity in the church and empower its members to fully live out their mission to extend God’s love and justice to the world.

Using Luke's Slave Metaphor to Teach the Biblical Foundations for Financial Stewardship at First Baptist Church of Buffalo Gap, Texas

Author
Charles Leon Gililland
Abstract
This project evaluated whether a financial stewardship study built around Christ-centered stewardship principles (derived from Luke’s servant parables employing slavery metaphor) instead of practical financial planning could affect change in small group members' financial stewardship habits at First Baptist Church of Buffalo Gap, Texas.
Chapter 1 introduces the financial problem facing the Church today even in the midst of the American financial recovery, and the thesis of the project is presented. In addition, the theological background for the study with exegetical analysis of the Lukan parables is presented.
Chapter 2 outlines the project research plan and methodology. A weekly progress report is also included in this chapter.
Chapter 3 presents the qualitative and quantitative project analysis gathered from both a pre- and post-study survey and a pre- and post-study financial giving report. The chapter concludes with an executive summary that outlines the positive change in group members' habits and suggestions for further implementation of the project.

Incorporating giving as an integral part of worship at Blessed Harvest Institute of Charlotte, North Carolina

Author
Brian Gerard Fite
Abstract
Giving is one of the most effective forms of worship we have available to us, but it has become the most exploitive and misunderstood element of the worship service. The methods and language used to frame giving within worship have led to exploitation resulting in unwillingness to wholeheartedly participate in giving as an element of worship. The literature addressing giving and the biblical interpretations are lacking in accurately speaking to the issues that arise in applying Old and New Testament scripture to address giving as an element of worship. There are a growing number of articles attempting to address the covetous nature involved in the methods and language used in inviting people to give to God. This work evaluated the giving practice in Blessed Harvest Institute by evaluating some Old and New Testament scriptures and determining how the interpretations are to be applied in the methods and language used to frame the giving experience in the worship service. Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 14:22-29, Malachi 3, Acts 3-5, 2 Corinthians 8-9, and other scriptures were used to understand the methods and language of giving biblically. Giving is to be a freewill expression of worship executed in an environment of liberty. It is necessary to reframe the concept of tithing not to be an obligation but a personal choice to express worship to God. Any prompting will remove worship from giving. Worship is a free expression that must be voluntary; therefore, giving must be voluntarily expressed, not grudgingly, by compulsion or of necessity, in order to be an element of worship.

STUDYING THE IMPACT OF INTRODUCING A FOR-PROFIT SUBSIDIARY TO A LOCAL CONGREGATION

Author
Bradley Scott Stagg D.Min.
Abstract
This doctoral research project studied the impact of introducing a for-profit subsidiary to a local nonprofit congregation. The study reveals congregational leaders experienced emancipatory feelings of hope and spiritual agency when utilizing the innovation tool of a business Miniplan. Liberating congregations from the oppression of financial scarcity freed church leaders to consider new ways to address increasing costs, particularly deferred maintenance of aging buildings. This project used Participating Action Research as its research orientation, since it is ideal for business and church research. All participants reported significant spiritual growth in stewardship; emancipatory feelings of hope; and generalizability for the larger church.

Faith finance and a plan a Methodist tactical approach to personal stewardship

Author
Daryl L Williams
Abstract
The author researched the link between faith and financial stewardship in Christians to prove that linking spirituality to financial teachings would prompt Christians to be better stewards. The author conducted a six-week seminar, which immersed participants in a financial literacy class that taught both tactical and spiritual approaches to finances. The analysis of the responses of participants indicated that having faith as a part of their financial teaching was instrumental in their motivation to complete the program as well as implement it. Also, the research suggested that the program would lead participants to become more generous givers to their church.

Leading a Local Congregation to Develop A Theology of Stewardship Based on Bilblical Truth

Author
James A Gibson
Abstract
The project's context was the Greater Temple Missionary Baptist Church located at 300 Fourth Avenue West in Birmingham, Alabama. The ministry problem that was identified was the need to improve the decline in church donations. It was hypothesized that developing a Theology of Stewardship would increase the contributions to the church. The methodology used by this project for training the congregation was eight sermons on stewardship, a focus group study, and field notes. The data collection and analysis process involved posttest and pretest surveys, interviews, an field notes. Contributions were increased.

The Effects of Holistic Stewardship Training

Author
Hugh D Duckett
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact the stewardship habits of congregational members at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Catonsville, Maryland. The project included a quantitative survey that assessed the impact of the ten-week course conducted through the Stewardship ministry. The survey was given at the beginning of the course and at the conclusion of the course. The course had an overall favorable impact on the participants based on the survey. The course supported the conclusion that instructing participants on holistic stewardship will encourage them to exercise better stewardship habits with the resources they have.

Stewardship: an epiphany!

Author
Sarah S Butter
Abstract
The author makes the biblical, theological, and liturgical case for the season of Epiphany as a faithful and effective liturgical home for the practice of stewardship campaigns in 21st century American Protestant congregations. She reviews historical and contemporary meanings and models of stewardship, emphasizing the contextual and adaptive nature of annual giving campaigns in churches. Her research explores her own experience and the experience of five early adopter congregations with the model. Her findings affirm the liturgical, Christological resonance of the model and its faithfulness and effectiveness. In addition, she points to its powerful potential for missional interpretation of stewardship.
Subscribe to Stewardship, Christian