This past weekend I had the chance to preview Committed to Christ: Six Steps to a Generous Life. The short version: I like it. The program is written by Rev. Bob Crossman, a United Methodist pastor from Arkansas and a member of the staff at Horizons Stewardship, Clif Christopher’s consulting company. What I like about […]

Church Finance, Stewardship

May 6, 2013

Program Review: Committed to Christ

I spend a lot of time listening to people who are smarter than I am. Perhaps because there are so many of them out there! Marcus Buckingham is a pretty smart guy and a management guru. One of his basics is that we need to do a self-assessment and figure out what our strengths are […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

April 22, 2013

Getting stronger by focusing on strength

Earlier this week the Cleveland Browns announced that First Energy is paying huge money for the stadium to be named after the electric company.  It’s a win-win:  the Browns get a huge infusion of cash and First Energy gets some good PR and visibility in the community. This practice, of course, is not new.  When I was […]

Church Finance, Stewardship

January 17, 2013

Of Giving Trees and Plaques on the Wall

One of the best things to come out of the economic downturn of the last four years is that consumers are working hard to get out of debt.  The Federal Reserve reported that last year the amount of debt held by the average household in this country shrunk to its lowest level since 1993. And […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

January 30, 2012

Get out of debt!

Yesterday my wife Chris wrapped up her participation in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  From early Friday morning until yesterday afternoon she and about 1,000 others walked 60 miles around western Cuyahoga County. Many of you are familiar with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a 5k (3.1 mile) walk […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

August 1, 2011

Lessons From a 3-Day Walk

I have a hunch that there are lots of churches in our Conference that have put off capital campaigns in the last four years or so.  With a struggling economy and plate income a challenge, it just did not seem like the right time to take on a major campaign. But those churches still have […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

July 18, 2011

Capital Campaign Help

Last week I heard a business guru give his tool to assess the success of small businesses given the difficult economy the last few years. “If you’re still open, you’re a success.”  But then he admonished them to get out of survival mode and plan for the future. I think that’s where we are with […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

May 9, 2011

Realigning to normal

It has become a key phrase in our society:  “You can’t be too safe.”  This notion when it comes to raising children prompted Lenore Skenazy to write Free Range Kids, a book and now a blog.  In it, she reminds us that kids need to go out and play and have fun.  If they end […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Endowments, Stewardship

May 2, 2011

You can’t be too safe

Mastercard’s “Priceless” ad campaign is world-famous and fairly well satirized at this point.  In those ads you might expect to see Friendship identified as “Priceless.”  But a survey by the Gallup folks in 1998 puts a definite value on friendship, $118.  That is, that for every friend a church member has in his or her congregation, […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

April 11, 2011

Value of a Friend: $118

As the news broke in Japan it wasn’t too long before I got thinking about UMCOR and its role in the relief effort of many of these disasters.  We are blessed to have Japan as the center of much of our United Methodist missionary work in Asia so we had “people on the ground” who […]

Church Finance, Church Leadership, Stewardship

March 21, 2011

Helping those who help