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Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship Paperback – August 1, 2008
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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.
Top customer reviews
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. He uses the scriptural story of Zacchaeus to make powerful points against common, but misguided, church stewardship practices. Let's just say that Zacchaeus gave large, tangible, and welcome evidence of his conversion!
I'm passing this book along to my pastor, and I hope he passes it along to the church stewardship committee. This message is a critical seed, and I hope it lands in fertile soil.
Sincere thanks to Pastor Christopher for taking time to craft this unique and important message. It will make a huge difference for leaders who listen.
P.S. Christopher acknowledges one of my personal pet peeves in his introduction, "I had completed three years of graduate education to be a minister in the church and no one had taught me one thing about money - how to raise it, invest it, or manage it." Sad, very sad.
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...