Generosity: Tough Sell in Troubled Economy?

Post a Comment » Written on October 16th, 2008     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (October 16, 2008) – Using secular standards, some suggest the notion of generosity is an increasingly tough sell in today’s economy.

Viewed from a spiritual perspective, however, the Commission on Stewardship of the Evangelical Covenant Church believes generosity to be a critical component in a Christian’s spiritual growth and development.

The spiritual dimension of generosity was one of several topics addressed by the commission during its recent meeting as the group evaluated potential resources to support stewardship education in local churches.

“People still give generously to felt needs and projects.”

“We believe there is enormous potential fruit – evidenced by the spiritual growth of our people as well as support of ministries – if every local church member was engaged in growing as a generous giver,” notes Carolyn Larson, a member of Bethany Covenant Church in Bedford, New Hampshire, who serves as commission chair.

“Pastors often have a hard time talking about matters of stewardship and money in general,” Larson observes. “We also believe that many people are not equipped to manage their personal finances and are carrying huge personal debt,” she adds, noting that local churches, conferences, and shared ministries of the denomination all feel the effects as they struggle to balance budgets.

“People still give generously to felt needs and projects, like Covenant World Relief and the Paul Carlson Partnership,” Larson says. “We need to do a better job of communicating the vision of the denomination and its ministries, while at the same time equipping our people to manage their finances so they have margin to give, and do it joyously.”

The commission, which includes pastors and lay leaders, meets on average twice a year to develop resources for local churches in support of year-round stewardship initiatives. The commission also designs regular updates for the Stewardship Starter Kit, available free to churches by clicking here.

“We (the commission) want to hear from churches,” Larson says. “What do they need for resources? What stewardship stories can they share with us? What best practices are out there?” To share story ideas and resource suggestions, email the commission.

“We also need help from our churches in giving visibility within their congregations to the easily accessible resources that can be downloaded free from our stewardship website area,” Larson adds.

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