Propel Yourself to Read this Book
What do you like to read at the beach? People magazine? Danielle Steele? Stephen King? Well, you may want to put those aside and delve into Clayton Smith’s new book Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity. Yes, you too can get yourself educated and revved up for the fall church season…even as you soak up the rays (don’t forget the sunscreen!).
Careful readers of this blog (and you know who you are) may recall my interview with Rev. Smith, Executive Pastor of Generosity at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, last September. His new book wasn’t in print then but – lucky for us – it is now. Smith covers three key areas that clergy will definitely want to read and that laity should affirm and support:
- Leadership, Vision, and Community – Three Essentials
- Insights for Preaching and Worship
- Six Giving Models to Propel Generosity
Propel is chock-full of great ideas and ways to transform how your church looks at stewardship and generosity (in fact, one of the book’s questions is whether there is any difference between stewardship and generosity).
Here’s a quick inspiration from the book: Design a sermon series around Rev. John Wesley’s famous edict -
- Gain (earn) all you can.
- Save all you can.
- Give all you can.
Most United Methodists can repeat this Wesley quote verbatim – but do they really know what it means and how to apply it practically in their daily life? As Smith says,
“The church’s teaching is more than to simply earn more, save more, and give more. Our task is to get at the heart of the matter for the benefit of those we serve. We are called today to teach stewardship in order that people will be better money managers and eventually experience the joy of generosity. The church can teach biblical truths and reveal transformation from the self-centered to God-centered life. I believe that good stewardship and sanctification go together and represent God’s vision for the people of God” (emphasis added).
So add this book to your list of beach reads before the summer comes screeching to an abrupt halt. Find out about vision casting, transforming your preaching, worship planning, and the numerous ways generosity can be experienced in your congregation. You might find yourself so inspired that you’ll toss Us magazine to the side and get busy propelling yourself to look at stewardship and generosity in a whole new light.
P.S. Help Me Out! I’m still looking for responses from last week’s question: Given that we are moving toward a cashless and checkless society — what do you think is the future of the offering plate during worship? How do you see the church receiving tithes? I’d especially like to hear from some of you laity!
P.P.S. – Blessings on all the clergy and congregations who are experiencing a change in leadership beginning today. Prayers are going out for a smooth transition.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. While she likes to think that she will be reading War and Peace or the Unabridged Works of William Shakespeare on the beach, Vanity Fair is really what she’ll be reading. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation; she is available to consult with churches in Oregon and Idaho. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.