Faith & Fundraising
Robinson, K.A. (2014). Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy, and A Spiritual Call to Service. (106 pp) Liturgical Press
Robinson writes from the Catholic tradition a book that is so passionately pastoral and mission centric that it is inspiring. She is a practitioner. Her realistic, gratitude-based, hope-centric approach provides the philanthropic roadmap about the opportunity giving provides people to transform and be transformed. Robinson is deeply impacted by the spirituality of fundraising taught by Henri Nouwen.
Mikell, J., McMillan, B., & Stewart, K. (2013). The Ministry of Giving: Fund Your Vision by Developing Financial Leaders. RSI Church Stewardship. (88 pp)
The central assertion of this book is like others on this list. A giving ministry isn’t about money it is about raising up people to fulfill the mission of God. Nurturing financial leaders and nourishing a pastoral relationship with them is a critical component of discipleship. Learning how to communicate with financial leaders and engage them is a part of pastoral ministry that can help the church flourish and Christ-centered growth to occur. This is an excellent practitioner friendly book.
___________, Whose Offering Plate is It? New Strategies for Financial Stewardship (145 pp) 2010
A follow up book focused on questions that Christopher’s first book prompted.
Nouwen, H. (2010). A Spirituality of Fundraising. (64 pp)
This is essential reading for pastoral fundraisers. “Make love your aim” is Nouwen’s opening word from I Corinthians. Nouwen builds the case for fundraising as a ministry that bestows possibilities for overcoming fear, building relationships, opening doors, and transforming lives.
Mundy, T. (2009). It’s Not About the Money. TOL Press. (121 pp)
Mundy was vice-president for advancement at Indiana Wesleyan University for 20 years. He shares his own experience as a fundraiser in loving and caring for donors as they developed generous hearts for God and God’s mission in this world. An honest assessment of the challenges and the joys of developing relationships with donors that result in abundant provisions for God’s work. Basic principles of fundraising communication, reporting, and acknowledgment are included in the narrative.
Christopher, J.C. (2008). Not Your Parents Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship. (120 pp)
The first chapter summarizes research on the shifting giving landscape in a very compelling way. Challenging, pragmatic and applicable guidelines for fund raising in the local church. “Why people give,” “The pastor must be a fundraiser,” “The top ten things I would do now,” are chapters titles that offer material for dialogue.
Jeavons,T. & Basinger, R.B. Growing Givers Hearts: Treating Fundraising as Ministry. (188 pp)
This book is based on a study of 7 Christian organizations whose fundraising efforts reveal the dynamic interplay between encouraging spiritual development of donors and raising essential resources. Emphasis on God’s abundance, a holistic perspective on “Kingdom work”, and clarity about core biblical and theological beliefs about giving and asking. Especially helpful for those charged with fundraising for Christian organizations.
Generosity & Stewardship in the Church
Truax, L.S. & Campbell, A. (2017) Love Let Go: Radical Generosity for the Real World. (195 pp)
When LaSalle Street Church in Chicago received an unexpected windfall, its leaders made the wild, counter-intuitive decision to give $160,000 away to church members – $500 each! They were simply told to go out and do good in God’s world. What happened next was amazing. Explore the connection of human flourishing to generosity. (See review in Covenant Companion, July/August 2017 p. 65)
Anderson, J. (2013) Plastic Donuts: Giving That Delights the Heart of the Father. (109 pp) Multnomah
When she was a toddler, Jeff Anderson’s daughter opened his eyes to how delighted God is with our gifts. She brought him a plastic donut from her play kitchen, and he was surprised by the intensity of his reaction. His delight in receiving this simple gift led him to search for the scriptural connection between our gifts and God’s heart.
Miller, K. & McKenzie, S. (2013) Bounty: Ten Ways to Increase Giving at Your Church. (125 pp)
Eliminate secrecy around money. Start talking about money as Christian leaders. Simple steps to help lead a congregation toward generosity. Invite people on a journey of gratitude, prayer and faith.
Stanley, A. (2013) How to be Rich – It’s Not What You Have. It’s What You Do With What You Have. (153 pp)
A helpful study book for small groups in the church on the practical implications of discipleship and stewardship. “My goal is to create a tool that will force conversation and reflection around the topic of what to do with what we have.” Consider the challenge of priority, percentage, and progressive giving. We are rich, let’s admit it and begin living so that wealth does not control our lives. Generosity is the antidote to the dizzying effects of wealth.
Willard, C. & Sheppard, J. (2012). Contagious Generosity: Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Church. (187 pp) Zondervan Leadership Network
A culture of generosity must be intentionally nurtured, that it is shaped by core values and it trumps vision. Generous churches are led by generous leaders. The culture of generosity in a church runs throughout the mission of the entire church. A church must have a strategy to lead its people to become generous. Generosity is contagious! A must-read for every pastor.
MacDonald, G. (2009). Generosity: Moving toward life that is truly life, a four-week devotional with discussion, (95 pp)
This four-week devotional guide explores how generosity is fundamentally intertwined with our Christian DNA. An excellent resource for small group reflection on the generosity of God, the freedom of giving, and movement toward trust and life as God intended.
Theology, Money & Possessions
Brueggemann, W. (2016). Money and Possessions. Interpretation (279 pp)
Comprehensive treatment of OT and NT biblical texts and themes related to money and possessions. The Introduction is a clear summary of themes that Brueggemann finds throughout scripture. Call to gratitude, responsibility, justice, generosity, stewardship. Excellent teaching resource.
Powell, M.A. (2006). Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life (175 pp)
Powell provides a strong biblical and theological background for teaching on generosity. The action steps that he provides are provocative – although they may have some limits in the application. A useful book on generosity and giving.
Willmer, W. (2002). God and Your Stuff. NavPress (163 pp)
Willmer lays a biblical foundation for the connection between our souls and our earthly possessions. Chapter titles invite us into reflection personally – “God’s map for your stuff and your soul,” “Spiritual Growth and your Stuff,” “Marks of a mature steward,” “How then shall you become a faithful steward,” “Lessons from Earlier Christians,” “What you should expect from your church.” Good group discussion questions.
Smith, C. & Emerson, M. O. Passing the Plate: Why Americans Don’t Give Away More Money
The best sociological study on giving in the church with very helpful ideas on how to grow generosity in the congregation.
Ellul, J. Money and Power
An essential book for understanding the power that money holds in our individual lives and in the life of the church. This is the book that helps understand why stewardship ministry in the church is “for our people” and essential for their spiritual, emotional, and material health. Excellent biblical theology in an accessible style.
Jamieson, J. T. & Jamieson, P. D., Ministry and Money: A Practical Guide for Pastors
Sound biblical theology and practical help for the entire financial ministry of the church.