A funny thing happened to me last week.  I went to a meeting.  I didn’t log into a meeting.  I went there.  I put on long pants (not my favorite part), drove to the church, small talked then got to the purpose of our time together.  An hour later I was back in my car […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

July 24, 2020

Getting Back to Normal-ish

In the last week the churches of the East Ohio Annual Conference have scrambled to figure out how to live stream their worship services.  Some have full-blown Sunday morning productions, others are pastors in front of their cell phones offering a message and a prayer. And once they got that figured out by Sunday, they […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

March 18, 2020

Electronic Giving, Now More Than Ever

I often get a comment like “We haven’t done a stewardship campaign in decades. We don’t need to, we always pay the bills.” Or sometimes it’s “We don’t really talk stewardship in our church, it makes people uncomfortable.” Or my favorite is “We don’t want to be the church that always talks about money.” All […]


November 23, 2015

Why Have A Campaign?

The Board of Directors at the Foundation has spent the last year in a strategic planning process.  We are a much different organization than when I got here seven years ago and we were trying to get a handle on what exactly our role should be. My elevator speech has always been that the Foundation […]

Accountability, Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

December 1, 2014

Rethinking our purpose

Last night I met with a local church’s Finance Committee.  They spent a few minutes going over the financials, discussing the pluses and the minuses.  They they got to me to talk stewardship. Here’s the problem.  It was the Finance Committee.  They had just looked at financial statements.  And they wanted to talk about money.  […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

May 22, 2014

Rethinking the Committee’s Place

If you’re a regular reader of this space you know that missions are important to me.  In fact, if I could only have the church do one thing, I would skip worship, Sunday School and (gasp!) even committee meetings and just do missions.  But clearly missions would be more difficult without the other things. How […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

February 3, 2014

Wanted: something big, hairy and audacious

I had a great consultation last week with a pastor who had an interesting dilemma, one that many wish they were in.  The church was about to receive a significant bequest from a member and he was looking for some guidance before meeting with the family to discuss its best use in ministry. I, of […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

December 9, 2013

Investing Found Money

I was recently part of a discussion about gifts of life insurance to the church and whether or not I like them. (I know, you’re amazed at how exciting my life is, aren’t you?) Given the question “Is life insurance a good gift to give the church?” My answer is a definitive maybe. It depends […]

Church Finance, Endowments, Stewardship

October 11, 2013

Insuring the Future

Here is my report from Annual Conference this morning, including links to the two videos. All week we have heard from church people.  As a change of pace, I’d like to open my presentation with the perspective of a volunteer firefighter. Justin, the video if you would http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_bezos_a_life_lesson_from_a_volunteer_firefighter.html Get in the game.  Save the shoes. […]

Church Finance, Stewardship

June 19, 2013

Saving Shoes, my Annual Conference Report

  Everyone talks about leaving a better planet for the children.  Why nobody tries to leave better children to the planet? That’s one of my favorite quotes, and as a parent of two above average teenagers, it is one that I have taken to heart for the last 16 years. We do an awful lot […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

June 10, 2013

Raising up them kids