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Creating Congregations of Generous People 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1566992206
ISBN-10: 1566992206
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the best books on stewardship I have ever read." -- Kenneth B. Smith

About the Author

Michael Durall is principal of the Common Wealth Consulting Group in Belmont, Massachusetts. He is also publisher of the quarterly newsletter Charitable Giving, on the subject of religious philanthropy. His consulting firm assists secular and religious organizations in establishing and sustaining effective stewardship programs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1st edition (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566992206
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566992206
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mike Durall's slim but succulent guide to increasing and stimulating congregational giving is a welcome tonic when fundraising bibles seem to focus more on technique and need than motivation and virtue. Durall encourages us to aim to create congregations of generous people not as a ruse to open wallets but because - as he illustrates and explains well - only generous people in spirit and ethos will ever fill the plate. And it is more than his homespun wisdom as supported by his distilation of current reasearch and thinking from leaders in the field. Durall's emphasis on giving as the sharing of gifts with which we have been blessed is inspirational as well as practical. Give a copy to your minister as well as to every fundraiser you know!
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Format: Paperback
Michael Durall begins his stewardship consultations by asking congregations, "What kind of people do you want to become?" In his new book, Creating Congregations of Generous People, Durall argues that a thoughtful annual stewardship appeal, based on questions and answers about who we are, can serve as a vehicle for spiritual growth among members. Just published by the Alban Institute, Creating Congregations of Generous People is the fifth title in its Money, Faith and Lifestyle Series.
According to Durall, asking for money eventually becomes routine, even tedious-but creating a congregation of generous people becomes more meaningful with passing time. The book looks at real-life congregational cases and includes guidelines for implementing Durall's member-building approaches to sustaining effective stewardship.
"`Stewardship Is Not for Sissies' could be this book's subtitle," says Mary L. Miles, Director, Annual Program Fund, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, Boston. "Michael Durall challenges congregations to accept their responsibility to own the stewardship process and to empower people to lead more generous lives...Drawing on examples from current stewardship literature, the practices of many faith traditions, and his own experiences, Durall explores how money is viewed in religious settings as well as how to create a climate for increased generosity and effective fundraising over the long term." Kenneth B. Smith, Senior Fellow, The Chicago Community Trust, calls it "one of the best books on stewardship" that he has read: "It should be must reading for every theological student and every pastor who approaches stewardship issues with hope for results.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be most appealing for the following reasons: 1. It is very attractively designed, thus having an instant appeal to the bookstore or on-line browser.
2. It's content reinforces this external promise by virtue of: A)It's organization. The first sections witness the extent of the author's on-site research of charity as practiced by many Protestant and Jewish congregations. This survey is presented in a commendably non-judgmental way. The later sections deal with the author's own experience in his leadership of fund-raising within his own Church. The wisdom derived from such experience constitute the core of his message. B) The message. Mike Durall makes a convincing case for the necessity of a personal "stewardship" that combines spirituality and financial giving into a true act of charity. Furthermore, this attainment can have a vital effect upon the development or enhancement of a donor's life style and his concept of his relationship to his neighbors in this world. C)Its literary quality. This book is highly readable owing to its clear and refined prose. D) Its reference notes and bibliography. These combine to give further evidence of the thoroughness of research performed by Mike Durall in authoring this fine book!
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Format: Paperback
I ordered a copy of Michael Durell's book for a quick peruse to see if there were ideas I could inject into our congregation's upcoming canvass. After a first read, I ordered four more copies the next day, and handed them around to the Canvass Committee members. Michael lays out a renewed vision of generosity with which to appraoch the perennial problem of raising the church budget fromthe faithful. His observation that this process is no less about growing souls than any other area part of church life, and that the object is to cultivate a generous spirit, sat well with my congregation this year. We used his book in our planning and our process. The result? The book was a part of a positive canvass, pledges are up and people are feeling good about their generous participation in the life of the congregation.
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Format: Paperback
Every pastor, canvass chair and church treasurer should buy this book. If you have any interest in inspiring generosity within your church community, this book is for you. As a stewardship consultant, I have long seen the need for religious people to cultivate generosity for its own sake. Giving is a religious practice, the benefits of which are beyond counting. Mike Durall places our stewardship activities in the spiritual dimension, while sharing practical and realistic advice. Having put in his time on canvass committees and having assisted many congregations, he therefore speaks with the authority of experience.
If you take this book seriously your stewardship committee will no longer be comprised of anyone you could talk into taking the job. Instead the fund drive committee will be the most exciting, religously challenging group in your church. This is a book that will change how you view stewardship. I only wish he'd written it ten years ago!
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