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Not Your Parents' Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship Paperback – August 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Clif Christopher, MDiv, CFRE, is the CEO of the Horizons Stewardship Company. He is a certified church growth consultant and has earned the coveted title CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive). Christopher founded the Horizons Stewardship Company in 1992 following a challenging and rewarding career in pastoral ministry. Since founding Horizons, he has led consultations in more than 400 churches, conferences, synods, and dioceses in all phases of building, finance, and church growth. For the last 10 years, Christopher has secured more than $500 million for his clients. He has worked in more than 32 states and is a frequent speaker at stewardship seminars around the country. He is the author of several books including Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, which was published by Abingdon Press. Christopher has been an ordained minister of The United Methodist Church since 1975. He is a graduate of Hendrix College and Emory University. Christopher and his wife have four children.  He lives in Cabot, Arkansas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 123 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068764853X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0687648535
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jay Stevenson on March 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every coin has two sides, but the church seems stuck on one side.

This book is not about the traditional biblical stewardship message of tithing (i.e., one side of the Stewardship coin). Of course, all church folks should be responding to the grace of God by returning a tenth (In case you need a reminder, go read the OT prophet book of Malachi, Chapter 3).

This book focuses on the other side of the Stewardship coin, HOW DO WE PROMOTE GIVING in the church when we COMPETE against all the thousands of other non-profit organizations asking for that same dollar traditionally given to the church.

What I like about this book is the new perspective on how to challenge people to give to the church using the good marketing techniques used by the competition. Yes, we (the leadership of the church) need to tell our people of the good things we do with the gifts (tithes and offerings) the church receives. We need to give the poeple of our congregations a reason to give their charity dollars to the church.

The book provides excellent examples of good and bad from the author's real life experiences. It also highlites what the pastor and Stewardship Committee (or Trustees) should be doing to accomplish this new marketing perspective.

I thought so highly of this book that I personally bought five additional copies for our church's Stewardship Committee and Pastor. After reading the book, you might want to consider doing the same for your leaders...
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By Mint2b on August 11, 2009
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This was an awesome read. Very practical solutions to understanding the dynamics of church giving and to rethink the ways of fund raising. A must read for church leaders because it makes us take a good look at ourselves regarding our ministerial responsibilities. The book was a very easy read. I flew from Michigan to Atlanta, GA. I was done with the book before the plane landed and I retained almost 90% of what I read.
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People who know me know that money is a pretty big deal in my life. Actually, I've spent almost thirty professional years helping people acquire, save, invest, spend, and give money.

I've also spent a lot of time in church. My kids were the fifth generation of my family in our home church and I've held most lay leadership positions at some point. I've also helped a number of other churches raise or manage money.

Well, those two worlds sometimes collide and, frankly, I'm not always comfortable with the result. Truthfully, some churches do a lousy job of stewardship and it doesn't surprise me that they struggle for survival. A very wise friend suggested this book to me and I'll be forever in his debt (thanks, Jack!).

Clif Christopher explains why churches struggle financially. Not Your Parents' Offering Plate talks about the things that really matter to givers. And the amazing thing is that they aren't really secrets, anyway. The local university knows them, the United Way knows them, and the so do most of the 1.8 million nonprofits in the United States.

That's one key point. There are 1.8 million nonprofits and many of them do a grand job of fundraising. They are extraordinarily good at finding donors, presenting a vision, and offering unparalleled opportunity for donors to make a difference. Oh, and by the way, they also say a heartfelt thank you much better than most churches.

This is an easy book to read. By that, I mean you can read the whole thing in an afternoon or weekend.

But it may not be an easy message to hear. Christopher is a pastor who transitioned to a successful church fundraising consultant. My guess is that some of his words are going to make some pastors squirm.
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then this is the book that you should read. I've been working at stewardship for over 20 years w/in my church. This book fired me up to look at our efforts compared to non profits, something I have been unwilling to do, and has energized our leadership with new ideas and approaches. At the very least, the following quote should make you think- ". . .you are not in the business to balance budgets or manage money. You are in the business to change lives for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ--that is it. You have no other reason to exist. If you are not doing that, then get out of the way and let someone else have your spot." P17
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I am the pastor of a small ELCA congregation in central Texas. This congregation is in a chronic state of financial distress. The title caught my eye while I was at a pastor's conference. I purchased a copy, read it and decided to share a copy with each member of our Leadership Team (aka Church Council). I will be making some changes in my everyday ministry due to what I've read. I have already met with resistance from a couple of the members of the Leadership Team
and I suspect their discomfort is due to the truth of what the text says about money management within a congregation. I am convinced that old ways of doing money in congregations are not working. NYPOP strongly suggests that we in congregational leadership open our eyes to the new realities we face, change our behaviors along with our attitudes and bring about the changes needed to take congregations, like the one I serve, from chronic financial anemia to financial health and vitality. I highly recommend this easily read volumn for pastors. Expect push-back upon implementation.
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