"Embracing Stewardship" - Growing Better Stewards in our Churches

Jonathan New


by Jonathan New
Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship
"Why is stewardship so stinking difficult?"  
As a local pastor and Conference stewardship staffer, it's a question I've often asked!  That's one reason I'm so pleased Chick Lane and Grace Duddy Pomroy will be the keynoters at the upcoming stewardship Conference, "Embracing Stewardship," hosted by the Northeast Ecumenical Stewardship Council (NESC) March 24-25 at the Boxboro Regency Hotel and Conference Center.  
In "Embracing Stewardship: How to Put Stewardship at the Heart of Your Congregation's Life", Chick (author of the popular Ask, Thank, Tell) and Grace help us move away from the dead-end approach of viewing stewardship as "paying the bills" with a theologically rich but practically grounded manual on how to help grow better stewards.  
It starts with the awareness that God has entrusted some of what is God's into our hands, so how we think about money is a faith issue.  As they put it:  "It all belongs to God. I am a steward. How I live with money is a faith issue."  Then they have us focus on some core conversations we often fail to have about the incredible love and generosity of God, how we respond to this as followers of Jesus, and, specifically, the intersection of faith and finances. 
Grace Duddy Pomroy and Chick Lane
And they do what we need them to do!  Offer concrete suggestions that we can put into practice in our churches with: helpful admonitions such as making it a practice to talk about money when you aren't asking for any, and ideas about when that's doable; suggestions such as ways to deal with generational differences in giving; and encouragement to get more sophisticated by using things like Design Thinking, used by businesses and nonprofits to encourage innovation and growth - a process that empowers us to be creative and experiment by thinking outside of the traditional confines of our systems. 
I invite you to join me in Boxborough for the "Embracing Stewardship" conference to explore how we and others in our churches can live as stewards of God's abundance.  As a bonus, a copy of Grace and Chick's new book is free as part of the registration.  You'll also be treated to helpful workshops on generosity, electronic giving, endowments, narrative budgets, connecting stewardship with justice and mission, and more.  
Visit the NESC website for more information and to register, and know that it's possible to register for only one of the days if that's what works for you.  Registration ends March 21, so do it soon!  



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